page image
page image Start Page page image Index page image Glossary of Terms page image Resources page image
page image
Achilles Tendon Reflex
page image
page image page image page image page image
page image page image
page image
page image
Test to be performed - Achilles tendon reflex with the patient positioned in sitting

Expected findings - Palpable and/or observe a visible contraction of the calf, slight to moderate ankle plantar flexion, and equivalent reactivity when compared to the contralateral extremity

Equipment - Non-latex Taylor (i.e., tomahawk style hammer) or neurological reflex hammer

Testing procedures

  1. The foot should be visible and the leg must be free of restrictive clothing (i.e., a tightly rolled up pant leg).
  2. Have the patient sit on the examination table with his or her feet dangling above the floor.
  3. Stand in front and lateral to the patient.
  4. Localize the Achilles tendon.
  5. Gently dorsiflex the foot at the ankle and position the joint at approximately 90 degrees or until slight resistance is felt.
  6. Allow the reflex hammer to swing loosely between your thumb and forefinger through a 45 to 60 degree arc, while making certain the hammer moves in a horizontal plane (i.e., broad end of the reflex hammer is perpendicular to the tendon).
  7. Strike the tendon just above the calcaneus at the level of the malleoli.
  8. Standardize the size of reflex hammer used and force if needed.
  9. Palpate and visually observe the response to the provided stimulus (i.e., contraction of the calf and ankle plantar flexion).
  10. Repeat the procedure.
  11. Document your findings.
page image
Section: Achilles Tendon Reflex
page image Page 2 of 7 page image