Critical Care Trauma Centre

Question of the Week: June 23, 2000


A patient is able to lift their leg off the bed, but is unable to keep it elevated when an examiner exerts an opposing force. Using a scale of 0 - 5, what motor score would you assign to this movement?



This would be given a score of 3/5.

Motor Function Grading Scale:

  1. no muscle movement at all
  2. a flicker of contraction, either felt or observed; insufficient to produce limb movement
  3. ability to generate enough contraction to move the limb horizontally
  4. ability to produce enough mucle contraction to lift a limb or joint against gravity
  5. ability to hold a limb against gravity, and produce some resistance against an opposing force
  6. normal power; ability to maintain a contraction and overcome an opposing force


References: Waxman, S. (1996). Correlative Neuroanatomy. 23rd Ed. Stamford: Lange. pp 232.

Brenda Morgan

Clinical Educator,

CCTC June 23, 2000


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