- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Homans' sign

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An early sign in venous thrombosis of the deep veins of the calf. Passive dorsiflexion of the foot with the knee straight ay give pain in the calf and back of the knee when there is a deep venous thrombosis. Vigorous dorsiflexion of the foot is used by surgeons to expel clot from the veins and so this test may have its dangers. The sign may also be present in other conditions that cause lower extremity discomfort.


  • J. Homans:
    Thrombosis of the deep veins of the lower leg, causing pulmonary embolism.
    The New England Journal of Medicine, Boston, 1934, 211: 993-947. Circulatory diseases of the extremities. New York, Macmillan Co., 1939. Exploration and division of the femoral and iliac veins in the treatment of the thrombophlebitis of the leg.
    The New England Journal of Medicine, Boston, 1941, 224: 179-186.

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