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Lhermittes Sign

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Other Names

  • Lhermitte's Sign
  • Lhermitte's Phenomenon
  • Barber Chair Phenomenon
  • Lhermitte's Test


Illustration of Lhermittes Sign
  • To evaluate the cause of the patients neck pain and radicular features
    • Lhermitte's sign was first described by Marie and Chatelin in 1917 and named after Jean Lhermitte (need citation)


Lhermitte's Sign

  • Described as an electric shock sensation that occurs with flexion of the neck
  • Sensation radiates down spine in legs, arm, trunk

Lhermitte's Test

  • The patient is seated
  • Examiner passively flexes patient’s neck
  • Examiner simultaneously passively flexes one hip with leg extended
  • Positive test
    • Sharp pain down spine or limb



  • Non-specific compressive myelopathy[1]
    • Sensitivity: 3-17%
    • Specificity: 97%

See Also


  1. Uchihara T, Furukawa T, Tsukagoshi H. Compression of brachial plexus as a diagnostic test of cervical cord lesion. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 1994;19:2170–3
Created by:
John Kiel on 12 April 2020 14:53:09
Last edited:
16 April 2023 19:09:07