Learn About Decorticate Posture

What is the definition of Decorticate Posture?

Decorticate posture is an abnormal posturing in which a person is stiff with bent arms, clenched fists, and legs held out straight. The arms are bent in toward the body and the wrists and fingers are bent and held on the chest.

This type of posturing is a sign of severe damage in the brain. People who have this condition should get medical attention right away.

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What are the alternative names for Decorticate Posture?

Abnormal posturing - decorticate posture; Traumatic brain injury - decorticate posture

What is some background information about Decorticate Posture?

Decorticate posture is a sign of damage to the nerve pathway in the midbrain, which is between the brain and spinal cord. The midbrain controls motor movement. Although decorticate posture is serious, it is usually not as serious as a type of abnormal posture called decerebrate posture.

The posturing may occur on one or both sides of the body.

What are the causes of Decorticate Posture?

Causes of decorticate posture include:

  • Bleeding in the brain from any cause
  • Brain stem tumor
  • Stroke
  • Brain problem due to drugs, poisoning, or infection
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Brain problem due to liver failure
  • Increased pressure in the brain from any cause
  • Brain tumor
  • Infection, such as Reye syndrome
  • Brain injury from lack of oxygen
When should I contact a medical professional for Decorticate Posture?

Abnormal posturing of any kind usually occurs with a reduced level of alertness. Anyone who has an abnormal posture should be examined right away by a health care provider and treated right away in a hospital.

What should I expect during a doctor appointment?

The person will receive emergency treatment. This includes getting a breathing tube and breathing assistance. The person will likely be admitted to the hospital and placed in the intensive care unit.

After the condition is stable, the provider will get a medical history from family members or friends and a more detailed physical examination will be done. This will include a careful examination of the brain and nervous system.

Medical history questions may include:

  • When did the symptoms start?
  • Is there a pattern to the episodes?
  • Is the body posture always the same?
  • Is there any history of a head injury or drug use?
  • What other symptoms occurred before or with the abnormal posturing?

Tests that may be done include:

  • Blood and urine tests to check blood counts, screen for drugs and toxic substances, and measure body chemicals and minerals
  • Cerebral angiography (a dye and x-ray study of blood vessels in the brain)
  • MRI or CT scan of the head
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) (brain wave testing)
  • Intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring
  • Lumbar puncture to collect cerebrospinal fluid

The outlook depends on the cause. There may be brain and nervous system injury and permanent brain damage, which can lead to:

  • Coma
  • Inability to communicate
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures
Who are the top Decorticate Posture Local Doctors?
Elite
Highly rated in
3
conditions

Karolinska Institute

Stockholm, AB, SE 17177

Pavel Zelenin is in Stockholm, Sweden. Zelenin is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Decorticate Posture. He is also highly rated in 3 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Decorticate Posture, Decerebrate Posture, Spinal Shock, and Spasticity.

Distinguished
Highly rated in
2
conditions

Institute Of Translational Biomedicine

St Petersburg State University 
Saint Petersburg, SPE, RU 19903

Pavel Musienko is in Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation. Musienko is rated as a Distinguished expert by MediFind in the treatment of Decorticate Posture. He is also highly rated in 2 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Decerebrate Posture, Decorticate Posture, Urinary Incontinence, and Neurogenic Bladder.

 
 
 
 
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Distinguished
Highly rated in
2
conditions

Karolinska Institute

Stockholm, AB, SE 

Grigori Orlovsky is in Stockholm, Sweden. Orlovsky is rated as a Distinguished expert by MediFind in the treatment of Decorticate Posture. They are also highly rated in 2 other conditions, according to our data. Their top areas of expertise are Decorticate Posture, Decerebrate Posture, Spinal Shock, and Spasticity.

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What are the Latest Advances for Decorticate Posture?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy in non-fatal drowning.
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Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date : May 04, 2021
Published By : Joseph V. Campellone, MD, Department of Neurology, Cooper Medical School at Rowan University, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Ball JW, Dains JE, Flynn JA, Solomon BS, Stewart RW. Neurologic system. In: Ball JW, Dains JE, Flynn JA, Solomon BS, Stewart RW, eds. Seidel's Guide to Physical Examination. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 23.

Hamati AI, Felkar MV. Neurological complications of systemic disease: children. In: Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, Newman NJ, eds. Bradley and Daroff's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 59.

Papa L, Goldberg SA. Head trauma. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 34.