Gowers' sign in children with discitis of the lumbar spine

Yigal Mirovsky*, Leonel Copeliovich, Nahum Halperin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gowers' sign is pathognomonic in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. These patients, when rising, 'climb up' their thighs using their hands in order to overcome the weakness of the pelvic girdle and paravertebral muscles. We report on four children in the age range of 3.3-8 years with disc space infection in the lumbar region, who demonstrated the sign in the early stages of the disease. Following treatment, Gowers' sign disappeared in all of these patients. We therefore conclude that the presence of Gowers' sign in small children must alert the examiner to the possibility of infection in the lumbar spine. These children use this maneuver in order to avoid painful motion of the lumbar spine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-70
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics Part B
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Back pain
  • Discitis
  • Gowers' sign
  • Infection


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