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

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  • 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.
This article has been written with reference to the bibliography.

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