Medical Dictionary

cogwheel rigidity

noun cog·wheel rigidity \ˈkäg-ˌ(h)wēl-\

Medical Definition of cogwheel rigidity

  1. :  muscular rigidity in which passive movement of the limbs (as during a physical examination) elicits ratchet-like start-and stop movements through the range of motion of a joint (as of the elbow) and that occurs especially in individuals affected with Parkinson's disease The third major sign, rigidity (sometimes called "cogwheel" rigidity), is peculiar to Parkinson's disease. When a limb is bent, it seems to catch at regular points throughout its range of motion, much as a second hand jerks from interval to interval instead of smoothly traversing the face of a clock.—Harriet Washington, The Harvard Medical School Health Letter, May 1993—called also cogwheeling

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cogwheel rigidity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


capable of being understood in two ways

Get Word of the Day daily email!