A comparison of two methods of eliciting the ankle jerk

Aust N Z J Med. 1990 Apr;20(2):116-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.1990.tb01286.x.


Two methods of eliciting the ankle jerk have been compared. One, the traditional method, involved tapping the Achilles tendon (the tendon tap); the other (the plantar tap) involved tapping the sole of the foot. The study was done on 110 inpatients in the medical wards of a teaching hospital. The results showed an 89% agreement between the two methods. The extent of agreement was unrelated to the level of experience of the examiner. Forty three per cent of patients favoured the plantar tap method; 14% the tendon tap. The plantar tap method of eliciting the ankle jerk is an acceptable alternative to the traditional method.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Ankle Joint / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Examination / methods*
  • Reference Values
  • Reflex, Stretch / physiology*
  • Supination