Ankle Clonus Test

Dr. Sponsler is the private practice neurologist in Wasilla, Alaska who taught me about the ankle clonus test.

I learned that when the deep tendon reflexes of the ankle are hyper active, neurologists will test for ankle clonus.  Clonus is the involuntary repetitive oscillations of the foot altering planter flexion and dorsa flexion.

Wikipedia explains, Plantarflexion (or plantar flexion) is the movement which increases the approximate 90 degree angle between the front part of the foot and the shin, as when depressing a car pedal or standing on the tiptoes. The word “plantar” is commonly understood in medical terminology as the bottom of the foot.

The movement in the opposite direction is dorsiflexion, where the dorsal part (top) of the foot is moved in a manner towards the tibia or shinbone.

To check for Clonus I sat on the table and allowed my legs to drop down relaxed and Dr. Sponsler gently grasped my foot,  and moved the ball of my foot up and down a few times.

Just as he suspected, I do have ankle clonus, which is not a treatable condition, simply an indicator to help the doctor confirm MS.  I can help my clonus by consistently doing my ankle alphabet exercises.

Do you have clonus and are you doing exercises to help keep your ankles limber and strong?


About our Co-Founder: With a bachelors in Social Work, Linda is 53 years old, happily married with eight children and 17 grandchildren. Diagnosed with MS in 1995 and now having accepted and truly embraced her new reality, Linda has created She is dedicated to proving that joy can be chosen while living with Multiple Sclerosis. Linda specializes in helping others, especially those with MS attain the lifestyle, independence and happiness amid living with MS.

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