Neural Exam - Newborn tone - arm recoil

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Newborn-normal-behaviour.jpg</wikiflv> This 5-day-old infant is in the alert, quiet state.
  • Arm recoil tests tone and action of the biceps.
  • The arms are held in flexion against the chest for a few seconds, then are quickly extended and released.
  • The arms should spring back to the flexed position.
  • The hyotonic infant will have slow incomplete recoil.
  • Asymmetry to this response with lack of recoil would be seen with Erb’s or brachial plexus palsy.
Movie Source - Paul D. Larsen  
Movies from the PediNeuroLogic Exam website are used by permission of Paul D. Larsen, M.D., University of Nebraska Medical Center and Suzanne S. Stensaas, Ph.D., University of Utah School of Medicine. Additional materials were drawn from resources provided by Alejandro Stern, Stern Foundation, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Kathleen Digre, M.D., University of Utah; and Daniel Jacobson, M.D., Marshfield Clinic, Wisconsin. The movies are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
Links: Neural Exam Movies | Movies

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2020, September 21) Embryology Neural Exam - Newborn tone - arm recoil. Retrieved from

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© Dr Mark Hill 2020, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G