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Babinski sign

Pronunciation: ba-bin'ske


  1. extension of the great toe and abduction of the other toes instead of the normal flexion reflex to plantar stimulation, considered indicative of corticospinal tract involvement (“positive” Babinski);
  2. in hemiplegia, weakness of the platysma muscle on the affected side, as is evident in such actions as blowing or opening the mouth;
  3. when the patient is lying supine, with arms crossed on the front of the chest, and attempts to assume the sitting posture, the thigh on the side of an organic paralysis is flexed and the heel raised, whereas the limb on the sound side remains flat;
  4. in hemiplegia, the forearm on the affected side turns to a pronated position when placed in a position of supination.

Synonym(s): Babinski phenomenon, Babinski reflex, great-toe reflex, paradoxic extensor reflex, toe phenomenon

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.