Jendrassik maneuver

The Jendrassik maneuver is a medical maneuver wherein the patient clenches the teeth, flexes both sets of fingers into a hook-like form, and interlocks those sets of fingers together. The tendon below the patient's knee is then hit with a reflex hammer to elicit the patellar reflex. The elicited response is compared with the reflex result of the same action when the maneuver is not in use. Often a larger reflex response will be observed when the patient is occupied with the maneuver: "A weak or apparently missing reflex could be triggered by afferent activity resulting from such muscle tension. This is the true explanation for the maneuver, not a diversion of the patient’s attention – a misconception that can be heard even today."[1] This effect was first observed in the late 19th century by Hungarian physician Ernő Jendrassik, after whom it was named.

This maneuver is particularly useful in that even if the patient is aware of the maneuver's purpose, it still functions properly.[2]

The maneuver can also be used to distract patients when performing other tests or procedures and any suitable distraction may be used; for example when looking for Romberg's sign.[3]


  1. Pásztor, E. (2004-03-01). "Erno Jendrassik (1858?1921)". Journal of Neurology. 251 (3): 366–367. doi:10.1007/s00415-004-0394-3. ISSN 0340-5354. PMID 15015025.
  2. Koehler, Peter J.; Bruyn, George W.; Pearce, John M. S. (2000). Neurological Eponyms. Oxford University Press. p. 146. ISBN 9780198030591. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  3. Vereeck L, Truijen S, Wuyts FL, Van de Heyning PH (January 2007). "The dizziness handicap inventory and its relationship with functional balance performance". Otology & Neurotology. 28 (1): 87–93. doi:10.1097/01.mao.0000247821.98398.0d. PMID 17195749.

Further Reading

  • Niechwiej-Szwedo E, González E, Bega S, Verrier M, Wong A, Steinbach M (2006). "Proprioceptive role for palisade endings in extraocular muscles: evidence from the Jendrassik Maneuver". Vision Res. 46 (14): 2268–79. doi:10.1016/j.visres.2005.12.006. PMID 16445961.
  • Tsuruike M, Koceja D, Yabe K, Shima N (2003). "Age comparison of H-reflex modulation with the Jendrássik maneuver and postural complexity". Clin Neurophysiol. 114 (5): 945–53. doi:10.1016/S1388-2457(03)00039-7. PMID 12738442.
  • Zehr E, Stein R (1999). "Interaction of the Jendrássik maneuver with segmental presynaptic inhibition". Exp Brain Res. 124 (4): 474–80. doi:10.1007/s002210050643. PMID 10090659.

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