What is the patellar tendon reflex?

The  patellar tendon  connects the lower end of the kneecap to the upper part of the tibia and is therefore technically not a tendon but a ligament. By definition, a tendon connects a muscle to a bone. But since the patellar tendon is an extension of the quadriceps tendon, which ends at the top pole of the kneecap, it can still be called a tendon in a broader sense.

Patellar tendon reflex: indication of neurological diseases

The patellar tendon reflex is often checked during a neurological exam. The doctor taps the patellar tendon below the kneecap with a reflex hammer, which should result in a stretching of the leg.

If the reflex is increased, this can indicate damage to the motor nervous system. In the case of a  herniated disk  or an injury to a nerve, however, the reflex may not be able to be triggered.


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *