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1. when a subject lying supine is asked to raise one leg, he or she involuntarily creates counterpressure with the heel of the other leg; if this leg is paralyzed, whatever muscular power is preserved in it will be exerted in this way; or if the patient attempts to lift a paralyzed leg, counterpressure will be made with the other heel, whether any movement occurs in the paralyzed limb or not; not present in hysteria or malingering;
2. a modification in the movement of the costal margins during respiration, caused by a flattening of the diaphragm; suggestive of empyema or other intrathoracic condition causing a change in the contour of the diaphragm.
[Charles F. Hoover, U.S. physician, 1865–1927]
1. A test used in suspected unilateral hysterical paralysis due to a conversion disorder. The examiner places a hand under the heel of the paralyzed leg and asks the patient to raise the normal leg against resistance. In paralysis due to a conversion disorder, the examiner will feel pressure against the hand under the allegedly paralyzed leg. In true paralysis, no pressure will be felt.
2. A physical finding in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease consisting of inward movement of the ribs with inspiration (instead of their slight normal, lateral and superior movement).