decorticate rigidity

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decorticate rigidity

abnormal flexor posturing of the limbs, indicative of a lesion in the cerebral hemispheres or disruption of the corticospinal tracts. The patient exhibits bilateral adduction of the shoulders, pronation and flexion of the elbows and wrists, and extension, internal rotation, and plantar flexion of the lower extremities.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

de·cor·ti·cate ri·gid·i·ty

a unilateral or bilateral postural change, consisting of the upper extremities flexed and adducted and the lower extremities in rigid extension; due to structural lesions of the thalamus, internal capsule, or cerebral white matter.
Synonym(s): decorticate state
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

de·cor·ti·cate ri·gi·di·ty

(dĕ-kōr'ti-kāt ri-jid'i-tē)
A unilateral or bilateral postural change, in which the upper extremities are flexed and adducted and the lower extremities are held in rigid extension; due to structural lesions of the thalamus, internal capsule, or cerebral white matter.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


1. Tenseness; immovability; stiffness; inability to bend or be bent.
2. In psychiatry, an excessive resistance to change.

cadaveric rigidity

Rigor mortis.

cerebellar rigidity

Stiffness of the body and extremities resulting from a lesion of the middle lobe of the cerebellum.

clasp-knife rigidity

A condition in which passive flexion of the joint causes increased resistance of the extensors. This gives way abruptly if the pressure to produce flexion is continued.

cogwheel rigidity

The condition that occurs when tremor coexists with rigidity as in Parkinson's syndrome. In this condition, manually manipulated body parts may take on the feel of a cogwheel. This can occur also as an extrapyramidal side effect of antipsychotic drug therapy.

decerebrate rigidity

Sustained contraction of the extensor muscles of the limbs resulting from a lesion in the brainstem between the superior colliculi and the vestibular nuclei.

decorticate rigidity

Decorticate posture.

lead-pipe rigidity

Increased muscular tone in an extremity in which (as opposed to cogwheel rigidity) the affected muscle does not move in a discontinuous or jerking fashion as it is pulled back and forth.
See: cogwheel rigidity

nuchal rigidity

Inflexibility of the neck movement, esp. forward flexion of the neck. It is a sign of meningeal irritation.

penile rigidity

The ability of the erect penis to resist bending or buckling forces applied to its long axis. The greater its resistance, the more effectively the penis can penetrate during intercourse.
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