Simmonds' test

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Simmonds' test
Rupture tendon achileen.jpg
Left Achilles tendon rupture
Synonyms Thompson test
Simmonds-Thompson test

Simmonds' test (also called the Thompson test or Simmonds-Thompson test) is used in lower limb examination to test for the rupture of the Achilles tendon. [1] [2] The patient lies face down with feet hanging off the edge of the bed. If the test is positive, there is no movement of the foot (normally plantarflexion) on squeezing the corresponding calf, signifying likely rupture of the Achilles tendon. [3]


Interpretation of results

Recent research has indicated that while the Simmonds' test is an accurate detector of achilles rupture, it is unable to distinguish between partial tear (tear of the gastrocnemius or soleal portion only) and a complete tear of both portions. [4]

Complete tear of achilles tendon in ultrasound with Simmonds' test


The test is named after Franklin Adin Simmonds (1911-1983), an English orthopaedic surgeon at the Rowley Bristow Hospital, Surrey. [5]

Related Research Articles

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A tendon or sinew is a tough band of fibrous connective tissue that connects muscle to bone and is capable of withstanding tension.

Rotator cuff

In anatomy, the rotator cuff is a group of muscles and their tendons that act to stabilize the shoulder and allow for its extensive range of motion. Of the seven scapulohumeral muscles, four make up the rotator cuff. The four muscles are the supraspinatus muscle, the infraspinatus muscle, teres minor muscle, and the subscapularis muscle.

Tendinopathy Bruised tendon

Tendinopathy, also known as tendinitis or tendonitis, is a type of tendon disorder that results in pain, swelling, and impaired function. The pain is typically worse with movement. It most commonly occurs around the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, or ankle.

Achilles tendon tendon at the back of the lower leg

The Achilles tendon or heel cord, also known as the calcaneal tendon, is a tendon at the back of the lower leg, and is the thickest in the human body. It serves to attach the plantaris, gastrocnemius (calf) and soleus muscles to the calcaneus (heel) bone. These muscles, acting via the tendon, cause plantar flexion of the foot at the ankle joint, and flexion at the knee.

Achilles tendinitis tendonitis of the Achilles tendon

Achilles tendinitis, also known as achilles tendinopathy, occurs when the Achilles tendon, found at the back of the ankle, becomes inflamed. The most common symptoms are pain and swelling around the affected tendon. The pain is typically worse at the start of exercise and decreases thereafter. Stiffness of the ankle may also be present. Onset is generally gradual.

Rotator cuff tear Rotator cuff tear

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Triceps surae muscle pair of muscles: gastrocnemius and the soleus

The triceps surae is a pair of muscles located at the calf – the two-headed gastrocnemius and the soleus. These muscles both insert into the calcaneus, the bone of the heel of the human foot, and form the major part of the muscle of the posterior leg, commonly known as the calf muscle.

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Palmaris longus muscle

The palmaris longus is a muscle visible as a small tendon between the flexor carpi radialis and the flexor carpi ulnaris, although it is not always present. It is absent in about 14 percent of the population; however, this number varies greatly in African, Asian, and Native American populations. Absence of the palmaris longus does not have an effect on grip strength.

Patellar tendon rupture

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Patellar ligament

The patellar ligament is the distal portion of the common tendon of the quadriceps femoris, which is continued from the patella to the tibial tuberosity. It is also sometimes called the patellar tendon as it is a continuation of the quadriceps tendon.

Quadriceps tendon

In human anatomy, the quadriceps tendon works with the quadriceps muscle to extend the leg. All four parts of the quadriceps muscle attach to the shin via the patella, where the quadriceps tendon becomes the patellar ligament. It attaches the quadriceps to the top of the petella, which in turn is connected to the shin from its bottom by the patellar ligament. A tendon connects muscle to bone, while a ligament connects bone to bone.

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A tenotomy is a surgical act which involves the division of a tendon. It and related procedures are also referred to as tendon release, tendon lengthening, and heel-cord release.

Tendon rupture is a condition in which a tendon separates in whole or in part from tissue to which it is attached, or is itself torn or otherwise divided in whole or in part.

Franklin Adin Simmonds F.R.C.S. was a British orthopaedic surgeon for whom the Simmonds' test on rupture of the Achilles tendon is named. He also worked with the pioneering surgeon John Charnley on hip replacement surgery and became an expert in this field.

Ulnar collateral ligament injury of the elbow

Ulnar collateral ligament injuries can occur during certain activities such as overhead baseball pitching. Acute or chronic disruption and/or attenuation of the ulnar collateral ligament often result in medial elbow pain, valgus instability, neurologic deficiency, and impaired throwing performance. There are both non-surgical and surgical treatment options.

Biceps tendon rupture

A biceps tendon rupture is a complete or partial rupture of a tendon of the biceps brachii muscle. It can affect the distal tendon, or either/both of the proximal tendons, attached to the long and short head of the muscle, respectively.


  1. Thompson TC (1962). "A Test for Rupture of the Tendo Achillis". Acta Orthopaedica Scandinavica. 32 (1–4): 461–465. doi: 10.3109/17453676208989608 . PMID   13981206.
  2. Thompson TC, Doherty JH (1962). "Spontaneous Rupture of Tendon of Achilles". The Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care. 2 (2): 126–129. doi:10.1097/00005373-196203000-00003. PMID   13920945.
  3. Scott BW, Al Chalabi A (1992). "How the Simmonds-Thompson test works". The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. British Volume. 74 (2): 314–5. doi:10.1302/0301-620X.74B2.1544978. PMID   1544978.
  4. Douglas J, Kelly M, Blachut P (2009). "Clarification of the Simmonds–Thompson test for rupture of an Achilles tendon". Canadian Journal of Surgery. 52 (3): E40–E41. PMC   2689757 . PMID   19503640.
  5. Simmonds FA (1957). "The diagnosis of the ruptured Achilles tendon". The Practitioner. 179 (1069): 56–8. PMID   13453094.