I. Indications

II. Technique

  1. Patient lies prone with knee flexed at 90 degrees
  2. Examiner squeezes calf
  3. Observe for plantar flexion of foot

III. Interpretation

  1. Normal Response: Plantar flexion as reflex response
    1. Falsely normal if accessory muscles squeezed
  2. Achilles Tendon Rupture: Plantar flexion absent

IV. Confirmatory Test (if Thompson Test equivocal)

  1. Patients foot allowed to rest
  2. Sphygmomanometer applied to affected calf
  3. Inflate sphygmomanometer to 100 mmHg
  4. Dorsiflex foot and observe pressure gauge
    1. Normal response: Pressure rises and stays at 140 mmHg
    2. Achilles Tendon Rupture: Only flicker of movement

V. References

  1. Greene (2001) Musculoskeletal Care p.420-1
  2. Mazzone (2002) Am Fam Physician 65(9):1805-10

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