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  #1  
Old 03-19-2010, 11:33 PM
PandaBear77 PandaBear77 is offline
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I have absolutely no reflexes in my knees. How abnormal am I?

So today at my husband's doctor's appointment we're waiting for the MD to come in we started playing with the reflex hammer thingy. My husband tapped his own knees and they gave an impressive jerk. So impressive I was convinced he was helping it along but nope, he said they really were doing that on their own, and his dad and brother have similar reflexes.

"Watch this," I said, and proceeded to whack my knees with the hammer. Nothing.

Nada. Zip. Zero. NOTHING.

I have never had reflexes in my knees, not even as a child. Mr. Panda tried different spots on my knees and couldn't elicit a response, either.

So I'm wondering why this is.

Now ... I do have a very very VERY minor case of cerebral palsy. It's so minor it's basically a non-issue in my life. If you're a doctor and you're playing with my left leg, you'll probably figure it out, otherwise, forget it. I have wondered if my CP could be the cause, but I'm thinking probably not, because if it was, I would still have a reflex in my right knee. My right brain took the brain damage and only my left side is effected as far as I know.

I'm not a doctor and I realize most people reading this aren't, either. I'm not looking for medical advice. I'm perfectly content with my lack of reflexes ... I'm just wondering if anyone else out there has the same thing going on.
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2010, 03:17 AM
njtt njtt is online now
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I am not a doctor either, but I think you probably ought to be more worried about this. Maybe it is the cerebral palsy that you already know about, but I would want to be sure.
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  #3  
Old 03-20-2010, 08:58 AM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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Any back injuries in your history?

When I was going through the various pokes and proddings needed before the insurance would allow surgery, one spine doc was tapping away on my right leg and found no reflexes at all. His verbal impression was "Dead!" Ultimately, an L5-S1 diskectomy brought my reflexes back to almost normal.
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  #4  
Old 03-21-2010, 12:15 AM
PandaBear77 PandaBear77 is offline
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Nope, no back injuries. I'll bounce it off of my own doctor at my physical in a month or two.
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  #5  
Old 03-21-2010, 12:25 AM
Shmendrik Shmendrik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njtt View Post
I am not a doctor either, but I think you probably ought to be more worried about this. Maybe it is the cerebral palsy that you already know about, but I would want to be sure.
Eh... not to give medical advice, but if PandaBear77 really always had this, as she says, she probably doesn't need to be worried about it.
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  #6  
Old 03-21-2010, 01:33 AM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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You have reflexes. OK there not as sharp as your husbands, but you do have them. It's like when I took a yoga class and the instructor said, "Now let's count the number of times you breathe in minute."

OK as soon as she said that I was incapable of breathing normally. I kept holding my breath in. I pysched myself out.
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:07 AM
Shmendrik Shmendrik is offline
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Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
You have reflexes. OK there not as sharp as your husbands, but you do have them. It's like when I took a yoga class and the instructor said, "Now let's count the number of times you breathe in minute."

OK as soon as she said that I was incapable of breathing normally. I kept holding my breath in. I pysched myself out.
It's actually not at all like that, because the point of a reflex is that it's, well... reflexive. As long as you're relaxing your leg, you'll have it.
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  #8  
Old 03-21-2010, 02:46 AM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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I don't know how abnormal you are but I've always had minimal reflexes. Doctors generally have to hit me 3 or 4 times before they get a tiny twitch. The reflexes in my arms aren't much better.

If I try to test myself, nothing at all. I can tickle myself though.

This was before back surgery and arm surgery. Right now the reflexes in my legs are as bad as always but I swear to God if anyone even attempts to test my arms I'm gonna give them a black eye. So, I don't know how the tennis elbow has affected those reflexes.


No doctor has ever expressed any type of concern about my crappy reflexes. Of course, these are the same doctors who told me that waking up with heartburn or getting it from drinking water wasn't anything to worry about and to adjust my eating. I just don't ask doctors these questions any more.
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  #9  
Old 03-21-2010, 04:00 AM
AboutAsWeirdAsYouCanGet AboutAsWeirdAsYouCanGet is offline
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I don't have great reflexes either due to nereological problems. (white matter disorder) It's very common with my syndrome apparently.
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  #10  
Old 03-21-2010, 09:33 AM
conurepete conurepete is offline
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It seems to me it is pretty common. I hit people with rubber hammers on a near-daily basis checking knee reflexes, radial (thumb tendon), biceps tendon and triceps tendon reflexes, and also the achilles. The things to look for are asymmetric responses, increased response above baseline, and decreased responses below baseline. Some people don't have any noticeable reflex, but if they never have, and everything else is fine, it is probably just normal for them; you note it down just in case you find other anomalies. The hammer-smack test is to check if the reflex arc to the limb is intact (in gotpasswords case, there was something interfering in the outer bits of the nervous system) Or if the reflex is over-excitable on one side (potentially a problem inside the brain)
It tends to yield messed-up results when there are underlying neurological conditions .

Last edited by conurepete; 03-21-2010 at 09:34 AM.. Reason: poor typing skills
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  #11  
Old 03-21-2010, 09:37 AM
conurepete conurepete is offline
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There are more then 2 reasons to do the test( I forgot under-responsive), but they get boring and redundant unless you are actually evaluating someone. I am sooo not a doctor and do not diagnose or give medical advice etc....
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  #12  
Old 03-21-2010, 12:12 PM
amarinth amarinth is offline
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I've been told by doctors that mine are there, they're just very, very tiny.

But I've never been able to see any movement when I've whacked my own knees or when they've whacked them with the hammer thingy.
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  #13  
Old 03-21-2010, 03:45 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is online now
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I don't worry about symmetrically absent reflexes in 99.9% of the cases where I find them.

It's mainly a normal finding.
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  #14  
Old 03-21-2010, 08:04 PM
conurepete conurepete is offline
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Sometimes the response can be palpated but not seen
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:28 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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I couldn't show a reflex in reaction to that test. The doctor had me claps my arms together and tense up and, after a few times, it worked. At the time, my blood pressure was also low, so he joked that I was dead.

That was 40 years ago. (Oddly, no doctor has repeated the test.) I'm in great health otherwise, so I wouldn't worry about it.
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