Clavicle reflex

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The clavicle reflex consists of contraction of various muscle groups in the upper limb elicited by percussion over the lateral aspect of the clavicle (Video). This is not a specific reflex, but an indication of spread of the reflex response.(1,2) The response is minimal, usually absent, except in the face of upper-extremity hyperreflexia. Normally, the response should be the same on each side. It is useful in comparing the reflex activity of the two upper limbs.

In this patient with painless weakness of the left arm, the DTRs were increased and contraction of various muscle groups was elicited by a tap over the clavicle that was clearly different from the unaffected side. The patient likely has motor neuron disease.


1. Campbell WW. Clinical signs in neurology : a compendium. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health, 2016. 2. Campbell WW. DeJong's the neurologic examination, 7th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2013.