Ankle & Foot Assessment

Gap Palpation Test | Achilles Tendon Rupture/Tear Assessment

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Gap Palpation Test | Achilles Tendon Rupture/Tear Assessment

Mafulli et al. (1998) were the only ones who investigated the palpation finding of a gap in the Achilles tendon on its diagnostic ability of Achilles tendon rupture. Their findings were a sensitivity of 73 percent and a specificity of 89 percent. The associated likelihood ratios would alter the post-test probability to a moderate degree and the included study had a fairly high risk of bias which is why the clinical value is at least moderate.

For gap palpation, the patient lies in supine position. Then the course of Achilles tendon is gently palpated along the continuity of the tendon. You’re going to palpate for gaps in set continuity, which would indicate a tendon tear.

Other common tests for Achilles tendon ruptures:

 

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References

Maffulli N. The clinical diagnosis of subcutaneous tear of the Achilles tendon. The American journal of sports medicine. 1998 Mar;26(2):266-70.

Reiman M, Burgi C, Strube E, Prue K, Ray K, Elliott A, Goode A. The utility of clinical measures for the diagnosis of achilles tendon injuries: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Journal of athletic training. 2014;49(6):820-9.

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