The Thompson test, also known as the supine compression test, is used to determine whether a person has a ruptured Achilles tendon. The Thompson test is quick, easy to perform, and relatively accurate.
How the Thompson Test Is Performed
The Thompson test is performed by having the person lie on their back with their knees bent. The examiner then grasps the person’s affected heel and squeezes the calf muscle. If the Achilles tendon is intact, this maneuver will cause the foot to point downward (plantar flexion). If the Achilles tendon is ruptured, the foot will not move (no plantar flexion will occur).
Interpreting the Results of the Thompson Test
A positive result on the Thompson test (no plantar flexion) indicates a high likelihood of an Achilles tendon rupture. However, it’s important to note that a negative result does not necessarily rule out an Achilles tendon rupture.
In some cases, the tendon may be partially torn or there may be another injury in the area that is causing pain and limiting movement. As such, additional testing may be needed to confirm the diagnosis.
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