Plantar response
The plantar response, also known as the Babinski response, is an important neurologic examination based upon what the toes do when the sole (the plantar surface) of the foot is stroked. If the big toe goes up, that may well mean trouble. The plantar response is obtained by stimulating the external portion (the outside) of the sole. The examiner begins the stimulation back at the heel and goes forward to the base of the toes. There are diverse ways to elicit the plantar response . A useful way that requires no special equipment is with firm pressure from the examiner's thumb. Just stroke the sole firmly with the thumb from back to front along the outside edge. Too vigorous stimulation may cause withdrawal of the foot or toe, which can be mistaken as a plantar response . The normal mature plantar response is characterized by extension of the great toe and also by fanning of the other toes. Most newborn babies show a plantar response, a reflection of their immature nervous system. Upon stimulation of the sole, they extend the great toe. Many young infants do this, too, and it is perfectly normal. However, in time during infancy the plantar response vanishes and, under normal circumstances, should never return. A plantar response in an older child or adult is abnormal. It is a sign of a problem in the central nervous system (CNS), most likely in a part of the CNS called the pyramidal tract. Asymmetry of the plantar response — when it is present on one side but not the other — is abnormal. It is a sign not merely of trouble but helps to lateralize that trouble (tell which side of the CNS is involved). The plantar response is known by a number of other names including the toe or big toe sign or phenomenon and the Babinski reflex, phenomenon or sign. It is wrong to say that the plantar response is positive or negative; it is present or absent.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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  • Response, plantar — The plantar response, also known as the Babinski response, is an important neurologic examination based upon what the toes do when the sole (the plantar surface) of the foot is stroked. If the big toe goes up, that may mean trouble. The plantar… …   Medical dictionary

  • Plantar reflex — In medicine and neurology, the Babinski response to the plantar reflex is a reflex, named after Joseph Babinski (1857 1932) (a French neurologist of Polish descent), that can identify disease of the spinal cord and brain and also exists as a… …   Wikipedia

  • Response, Babinski — A neurologic reflex that constitutes an important medical examination based, believe it or not, upon what the big toe does when the sole of the foot is stroked. If the big toe goes up, that may mean trouble. The Babinski response is obtained by… …   Medical dictionary

  • Plantar — Having to do with the sole of the foot. The plantar response (also known as the Babinski reflex) is elicited by stroking the sole. The plantar fascia is the "bowstring like" tissue stretching from the heel beneath the sole. A plantar… …   Medical dictionary

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  • plantar reflex — n a reflex movement of flexing the foot and toes that after the first year is the normal response to tickling of the sole compare BABINSKI REFLEX * * * a reflex obtained by drawing a bluntly pointed object (such as a key) along the outer border… …   Medical dictionary

  • plantar reflex — a reflex obtained by drawing a bluntly pointed object (such as a key) along the outer border of the sole of the foot from the heel to the little toe. The normal flexor response is a bunching and downward movement of the toes. An upward movement… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • plantar reflex — noun flexion of the toes when the sole of the foot is stroked firmly on the outer side from the heel to the front in persons over the age of 2 years; under 2 years the results should be extension of the toes (Babinski reflex) • Hypernyms: ↑reflex …   Useful english dictionary

  • Babinski response — An important neurologic examination based upon what the big toe does when the sole of the foot is stroked. If the big toe goes up, that may mean trouble. The Babinski response is obtained by stimulating the external portion (the outside) of the… …   Medical dictionary

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