Ankles jerk — yes, but how?

David B Williams
Med J Aust 2016; 205 (1): . || doi: 10.5694/mja16.00355
Published online: 4 July 2016

Eliciting an ankle jerk is not a trivial task. It requires the skills of an experienced bell-ringer, an expert golfer and a mechanical engineer. The experience of the examiner and the positioning of the patient are two factors contributing to the accuracy of reported findings.1,2 Accurate findings can provide invaluable clinical information.

  • 1 Department of Neurology, John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, NSW
  • 2 Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW



I thank future colleague Joshua Diamoy for his assistance in creating the photographs and video.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

Series editors
Balakrishnan (Kichu) R Nair
Simon O’Connor

  • 1. O’Keeffe ST, Smith T, Valacio R, et al. A comparison of two techniques for ankle jerk assessment in elderly subjects. Lancet 1994; 344: 319-320.
  • 2. Oluwole OSA, Odebode TO, Komolafe MO. Effect of lower limb position on ankle jerk assessment. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2001; 70: 266-267.
  • 3. Burke D, Gandevia SC, McKeon B. The afferent volleys responsible for spinal proprioceptive reflexes in man. J Physiol 1983; 339: 535-552.
  • 4. O’Brien MD. Ankle jerk assessment. Lancet 1995; 345: 331.


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.