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.
Abnormal posturing - decorticate posture; Traumatic brain injury - 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.
Causes of decorticate posture include:
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.
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:
Tests that may be done include:
The outlook depends on the cause. There may be brain and nervous system injury and permanent brain damage, which can lead to:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.