Kernig Sign: Sign of Meningitis

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Kernig's sign is one of the physically demonstrable symptoms of meningitis. Severe stiffness of the hamstrings causes an inability to straighten the leg when the hip is flexed to 90 degrees.

Kernig Sign


Kernig's sign is used to diagnose meningitis


Step 1. The patient is positioned in supine with hip and knee flexed to 90 degrees

Step 2. The knee is then slowly extended by the examiner (Repeat on both legs)

Step 3. Resistance or pain and the inability to extend the patient's knee beyond 135 degrees, because of pain, bilaterally indicates a positive Kernig's sign.

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