Neural Exam - Newborn tone - hand position

From Embryology
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Newborn n 08.jpg
This 5-day-old infant is in the alert, quiet state.
  • A newborn baby’s hand is held in a fisted position with the fingers flexed over the thumb.
  • The hand should open intermittently and should not always be held in a tight fisted position.
  • Rubbing the ulnar aspect of the hand or touching the dorsum of the hand will often cause extension of the fingers.
  • Over the first 1 to 2 months of life, the baby’s hand becomes more open.
  • Persistence of a fisted hand is a sign of an upper motor neuron lesion in an infant.

Neural Exam Movies: normal behaviour | cranial nerves | Newborn Tone - resting posture | upper extremity‎ | arm traction | arm recoil | scarf sign | hand position | lower extremity | leg traction‎ | leg recoil‎‎ | popliteal angle‎ | heel to ear | neck tone | head lag‎ | head control | Newborn Positions - prone | ventral suspension | vertical suspension | Newborn Reflexes - deep tendon reflexes | plantar reflex‎ | suck, root | Moro | Galant | stepping‎ | grasp | Newborn Head - head shape and sutures‎ | head circumference‎ | Neonatal Diagnosis

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. (2024, June 21) Embryology Neural Exam - Newborn tone - hand position. Retrieved from

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© Dr Mark Hill 2024, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G