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Now for the QoM

  • After working a full day, you sit on the couch and turn on the Discovery channel.
  • The show The Deadliest Catch is on, and you see that one of the deckhands has collapsed to the ground.
  • All of a sudden his elbows and wrists become locked into flexion and his hips and knees become extended.
  • Refer to YouTube video by clicking here.

What is the best term of the posture the deckhand assumed?

A. Decorticate rigidity

B. Posture assumed with lower motor neuron injury

C. Decerebrate rigidity

D. Posture assumed with damage to midbrain or pons

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Scroll down to see the correct answer choice and explanation.

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  • After working a full day, you sit on the couch and turn on the Discovery channel.
  • The show The Deadliest Catch is on, and you see that one of the deckhands has collapsed to the ground.
  • All of a sudden his elbows and wrists become locked into flexion and his hips and knees become extended.
  • Refer to YouTube video by clicking here.

What is the best term of the posture the deckhand assumed?

A. Decorticate rigidity

  • The posture in this case is suggestive of complications with the corticospnal tracts above the level of the midbrain causing flexion of the elbows and wrist, and extension of the lower extremities.  
  • Damage to the corticospinal tracts is typically referred to as upper motor neuron syndrome.
  • Check this video out of a soccer player experiencing decorticate rigidity after getting hit in the head by a soccer ball.  

B. Posture assumed with lower motor neuron injury

  • The postures described in this case are more associated with an upper motor neuron injury rather than a lower motor neuron injury.
  • Lower motor neuron deficits are typically characterized by weakness, decreased deep tendon reflexes, decreased tone, muscle atrophy, and fasciculations.

C. Decerebrate rigidity

  • Brain stem damage at or below the level of the midbrain.
  • Decerebrate rigidity typically occurs when there is a lesion of the brainstem above the vestibular nucleus.
  • Head/neck, arms and legs will be extended and toes will point downward.
  • Damage at this level will inhibit flexed postures from occurring and cause extension of both the upper and lower extremities.
  • Check this video out of a football player experiencing decerebrate rigidity after scoring a touchdown.

D. Posture assumed with damage to midbrain or pons

  • This is a potential answer choice, however answer choice A is more appropriate as lesions or complications tend to occur above the level of the midbrain when decorticate posture is identified.

 

Study hard.

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cody

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