Oppenheim Test

Original Editor - Evan Thomas

Top Contributors - Evan Thomas, Claire Knott and Redisha Jakibanjar


To test for the presence of an upper motor neuron lesion. This test is part of the standard neurological examination.[1]



Patient positioned in sitting or supine. The examiner grasps the lower leg with one hand.


Using either the opposite end of a reflex hammer or thumbnail, the examiner uses his/her other hand to scratch along the crest of the patient's tibia in a downward motion.[1]



  • A normal (negative) response is no reaction[1]
  • An abnormal (positive) response is a Plantar Response/Babinksi Sign, that being great toe extension and fanning of the other toes[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Magee DJ (2014). Orthopedic Physical Assessment (6th Ed): pg 597.
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfrGYDIB_PE (Accessed Feb 19, 2016)