Homans sign (medical condition)

Demonstrated by discomfort behind the knee and or in the calf on forced dorsiflexion of the foot, caused by deep vein thrombosis. See also Homans’ sign

Homans sign is a medical sign that can indicate the presence of a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is a blood clot that forms in a deep vein, usually in the legs. It is named after John Homans, an American surgeon who first described the sign in 1941.

To perform the Homans sign test, the healthcare provider will passively dorsiflex the patient’s foot while the patient is lying down. If the patient experiences pain in the calf upon passive dorsiflexion of the foot, this may be indicative of a DVT. However, it is important to note that the Homans sign is not a definitive diagnostic tool for DVT, and other tests such as ultrasound or D-dimer blood test may be needed to confirm the diagnosis.

It is also worth noting that the Homans sign is controversial and not always considered a reliable sign of DVT, as it can be present in patients without DVT and absent in patients with DVT. Therefore, the diagnosis of DVT should be based on a combination of clinical examination, medical history, and other diagnostic tests.