Thompson’s Test For Achilles Tendon Rupture

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if you have a complete rupture of your Achilles tendon just by looking at it, or from the level of pain. Thompsons test is used to help diagnose a complete rupture of the Achilles tendon.

Thompson’s test

  • Lie face down on a couch or table with your feet hanging naturally over the edge.
  • Thompson’s test is performed by squeezing your calf muscles at the belly of the muscle.
  • In a healthy ankle, your foot should move each time you squeeze the muscle.
  • However, if you have a complete rupture of the Achilles tendon then your foot will not move as expected.

Other signs to check

  • Again, lying face down with your feet over the edge of a massage table. Your feet should hang down naturally. If the injured foot hangs directly down when compared to the uninjured one, then this could be an indication of a torn Achilles tendon.
  • Is there/was there a gap of approximately 3 to 6 cm in your Achilles tendon directly after injury? If there is too much swelling then it is not always obvious.
  • Has your strength significantly reduced when trying to go up on tiptoes (plantar flexion)? If you Achilles is torn you will have difficulty in plantar flexing your ankle against resistance.
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