HOMANS' SIGN: pain in the calf of the leg upon dorsiflexion of the foot with the leg extended that is diagnostic of thrombosis in the deep veins of the area
In medicine, Homans' sign was used as a sign of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
It has fallen out of favor because a positive sign does not indicate DVT (Likelihood ratio positive = 1) and a negative sign does not rule it out (Likelihood ratio negative = 1) It is estimated to have a sensitivity of 60-88% and a specificity of 30-72%.
A positive sign is present when there is pain in the calf on dorsiflexion of the patient's foot at the ankle while the knee is fully extended.
It is named for the American physician John Homans.
This is not a commonly used test and should not be done at home. This test is less used today because it can potentially dislodge the deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and travel to the lung. The other test for a DVT is to have a blood test done and an ultrasound of the leg, which are both a better choice to rule out blood clots than the Homans' sign.
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