floppiness in an infant

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Floppiness is a term used to describe babies who have marked muscle hypotonias. Maintenance of normal muscle tone requires integrity of the peripheral neuromuscular system, the spinal cord and higher centres.

A useful clinical test in discriminating a paralytic cause of floppiness from a non-paralytic cause is to hold the baby in a ventral position. A baby with a paralytic cause of floppiness shows much less movement than a baby with non-paralytic floppiness.

Last reviewed 01/2018