Gordon Reflex

Original Editor - Oyemi Sillo
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Purpose[edit | edit source]

The Gordon reflex was initially introduced as the “paradoxical flexor reflex” when it was first demonstrated by American neurologist, Alfred Gordon, at the Philadelphia Neurological Society in 1904.[1] It is used to diagnose lesions of the pyramidal tract, and is a helpful adjunct to a complete neurological examination, alongside the Babinski, Chaddock, and Oppenheim reflexes.[2] It is particularly useful in cases where the examiner is unable to elicit a Babinski reflex due to poor cooperation of the patient or when there is an equivocal result.[3]

Technique[1][edit | edit source]

Setup: The patient is positioned in supine lying, with legs extended and relaxed.

Procedure: The examiner lifts the patient’s leg at the ankle with one hand, and with the other hand grasps the patient’s calf. • Next, the examiner squeezes the patient’s calf muscle tightly, while monitoring the toes.

• A normal (negative) response is no reaction at the toes • An abnormal (positive) response is an ipsilateral extensor plantar reflex - extension of the hallux with fanning of the other toes


Evidence[edit | edit source]

A double-blind study of the consistency of the Babinski reflex and its variants (the Chaddock, Gordon, and Oppenheim reflexes) gave the Gordon reflex a fair rating for inter-observer consistency with a kappa of 0.3515 (95% CI = 0.255-0.488) and the highest intra-observer consistency with a kappa of 0.6731.[3]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Janecek J, Kushlaf H. Gordon Reflex. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing, Treasure Island (FL); 2019.
  2. Tashiro K. [Reverse Chaddock sign]. Brain Nerve. 2011 Aug;63(8):839-50.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Singerman J, Lee L. Consistency of the Babinski reflex and its variants. Eur. J. Neurol. 2008 Sep;15(9):960-4.
  4. Palmer Health Sciences Library. Pathological Reflexes Gordon's Sign. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EW97t7VIjc