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ankle clonus
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ankle clonus

please can you tell me if my son is ok, he is 6 weeks old, i noticed today he had bilateral ankle clonus...it happened a number of times when i actively dorsiflexed his foot..the beats ranged from 3 to about 20 when he was breastfeeding but appeared sleeping at the time..
i had a normal pregnancy, no complications, vaginal delivery, apgars 9 and 10.
He is tracking already, focussing and smiling at me if that means anything,,he coos and he can hear very well
im so worried can you tell me if its possible that ankle clonus at this amount could be normal??
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.

Without the ability to examine your son and obtain a history, I can not tell you whether or not the ankle clonus has implications for him, but I will try to provide you with information in general.

Ankle clonus is usually a normal occurrence in newborns, and its presence up to 3 months of life does not necessarily have implications on the child's development, presence of cerebral palsy, or other neurologic disorders. There have been few studies that have examined newborns every month in the first year of life then followed them up. These studies found that ankle clonus in the first 3 months of life was not predictive of the development of neurologic problems. If birth history was normal, as it sounds like was the case with your son, there are no other neurologic signs, and development seems to be otherwise normal, then the likelihood of a neurologic problem is low. If ankle clonus persists after 3 months of age (some studies say 5 months of age), or if a high number of beats (>8 beats) consistently occurs, then close follow-up with possible additional testing such as an MRI may be warranted.

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find this information useful, good luck.
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A related discussion, Ankle Clonus?  How much should we worry? was started.
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