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What is a Homans' sign?

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Quick Answer

A Homans' sign is a technique used by a doctor to assess the potential presence of a blood clot in the leg. If calf pain is present as the practitioner flexes the ankle, pointing the toes toward the body with the knee bent, it is considered a positive Homans' sign.

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Full Answer

The Homans' sign technique was developed in the early 20th century by a vascular surgeon named John Homans. The exercise has since been extensively studied and found to be flawed in several respects. The technique is sometimes performed inconsistently, and the results are frequently inaccurate or misinterpreted. Because of these common problems, the Homans' sign is no longer recommended as an assessment tool for blood clots.

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