One of the physically demonstrable symptoms of meningitis is Kernig's sign. Severe stiffness of the hamstrings causes an inability to straighten the leg when the hip is flexed to 90 degrees.
Update Date 12/7/2014
Updated by: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.