Babinski's sign

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Related to Babinski's sign: Babinski test, extensor plantar response

Babinski's sign

Etymology: Joseph Babinski
a series of partial responses that are pathognomonic of different degrees of upper motor neuron disease, including (1) absence of an ankle jerk in sciatica; (2) an extensor plantar response, with an extension of the great toe and adduction of the other toes; (3) a more pronounced concentration of platysma on the unaffected side during blowing or whistling; (4) pronation that occurs when an arm affected by paralysis is placed in supination; and (5) when a patient in a supine position with arms crossed over the chest attempts to assume a sitting position, the thigh on the affected side is flexed, and the heel is raised, while the leg on the unaffected side remains flat.

Babinski's sign

An extension and fanning out of the toes when the sole of the foot is stroked firmly with a pointed object. This reaction, instead of the normal curling up of the toes, indicates damage to the motor system above the level of the spinal nerves and is common in STROKE. (Joseph François Babinski, 1857–1932, French neurologist).


reactive tissue response to stimulus
  • Babinski response see response, extensor plantar

  • Chaddock response provocation of extensor plantar response (in cases with upper motor neurone lesion) by stroking lateral side of lower leg from proximal to distal (compare with response, extensor plantar)

  • extensor plantar response; Babinski response; Babinski reflex slow, reflex dorsiflexion of hallux at first metatarsophalangeal joint, with fanning of lesser toes, and plantarflexion of fourth and fifth toes at 4/5 metatarsophalangeal joints when plantar skin is stimulated; normal in infants up to 7 months old; diagnostic of upper motor neurone lesion in older subjects (see sign, Babinski's; response, Chaddock; response, Gordon; response, Oppenheim)

  • Gordon response provocation of extensor plantar response, by squeezing posterior calf area; indicative of upper motor neurone lesion

  • Oppenheim response; Oppenheim reflex provocation of extensor plantar response, by stroking either side of tibial crest from proximal to distal; indicative of upper motor neurone lesion

References in periodicals archive ?
There was a mild right upper extremity tremor and a generalized hyperreflexia with positive Babinski's signs bilaterally.
She exhibited marked right-sided lower extremity weakness and bilaterally positive Babinski's signs.