Kernig's sign


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Related to Kernig's sign: Brudzinski's sign, Murphy's sign

Kernig's sign

 [ker´nigz]
in the supine position the patient can easily and completely extend the leg; in the sitting posture or when lying with the thigh flexed upon the abdomen the leg cannot be completely extended; it is a sign of meningitis.
Kernig's sign, which indicates meningitis. Flexion of the hip and knee causes pain. From Ignatavicius and Workman, 2002.

Kernig's sign

[ker′niks]
Etymology: Vladimir M. Kernig, Russian physician, 1840-1917
a diagnostic sign for meningitis marked by a loss of the ability of a supine patient to completely straighten the leg when it is fully flexed at the knee and hip. Pain in the lower back and resistance to straightening the leg constitutes a positive Kernig's sign. Usually the patient can extend the leg completely when the thigh is not flexed on the abdomen. Compare Brudzinski's sign.

Kernig's sign

An indication of irritation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord (the meninges) as in meningitis. Attempts to bend the hip with the knee straight (straight leg raising) cause pain and are strongly opposed by irritative spasm in the hamstring muscles that extend the hip and bend the knee. (Vladimir Michailovich Kernig, 1840–1917, Russian physician).
References in periodicals archive ?
The sensitivity of a positive Brudzinski's or Kernig's sign for the diagnosis of meningitis proved to be a mere 5%.
of cases % Altered sensorium 38 76 Bulging anterior frontonelle 19 38 Cranial Nerve Palsy Occulomotor 1 2 Abducent 1 2 Facial 6 12 Motor system Hemiplegia 4 8 Neck rigidity 26 52 Kernig's sign 18 36 Brudzinski's sign 11 22 Fundal changes papilledema 7 14 Subdural effusion 2 4
His Glasgow Coma Scale was 12/15, he had neck stiffness and Kernig's sign was positive.
A positive Kernig's sign is present if pain is experienced as the leg is extended at the knee when flexed at the hip (Elliot & Goldberg, 1997).