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What is the Thompson test?

A Thompson test diagnoses a rupture of the achilles tendon, which connects the foot plantar flexors to the calcaneus (heel) of the foot. The test starts with the patient lying prone (on stomach) and his feet of the edge of a table while the clinician squeezes the calf (muscular part of the lower leg). The foot should plantar flex, or point toes downward, like the person is stepping on a gas pedal. A positive Thompson test, indicating an achilles tendon rupture, occurs if no reaction is noted.

(This answer provided for NATA by the Gustavus Adolphus College Athletic Training Education Program.)

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