Q. My 6 weeks old baby has ankle clonus. Should I take him to a neurologist?

Answered by
Dr. Lalit Bansal
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on Mar 24, 2016 and last reviewed on: Sep 28, 2019

Hi doctor,

I noticed about a week ago that my 6 weeks old baby has ankle clonus. His feet sort of tap or twitch sometimes, especially when he raises them with knees bent like when he is straining to poop or I change his diaper. I am able to reproduce this by pressing on his feet just under his toes. When it is happening by itself, it is only a few beats but when I put his feet in a certain position it sometimes goes on and on. Google says this means he may have cerebral palsy. I immediately took him to his pediatrician who said that this was normal and would go away after a couple of months. I was not able to reproduce the twitch at the office though. She said he is developing normally. He raises his head when on tummy and started to smile back. Still the cerebral palsy connection totally scared me. Should I take him to a neurologist?

Dr. Lalit Bansal

Neurology Paediatrics
#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Ankle clonus of 3-5 beats is normal in infants. It usually goes away as child grows.
  • If your child has normal muscle tone of extremities, he is obtaining developmental milestone as schedule and there was no concern of injury at birth, then you can rest assured.
  • You should continue with regular pediatrician follow up as scheduled for 2, 4, 6, 9 and 12 months and if any concern arises then he should be able to pick it up during those visits.
  • I do not thing that your child need to be seen by a neurologist at this interval.

For further clarification consult a paediatrician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/paediatrician

Hi doctor,

Thank you for the information. My pediatrician said his muscle tone was normal. However, if I press his foot as described above there are often more than 10 beats. If it happens by itself there are fewer beats. What to do?

Dr. Lalit Bansal

Neurology Paediatrics
#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • In that case you can have a neurologist evaluation just to be sure that there is nothing else which could have been missed by pediatrician.
  • However, it could still be normal. You would need a physical examination. If any concern arises then go ahead with MRI of brain.

For further information consult a paediatrician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/paediatrician

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