Simmonds' test

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Simmonds' test
Medical diagnostics
Rupture tendon achiléen.jpg
Left Achilles tendon rupture
SynonymsThompson test
Simmonds-Thompson test
Complete tear of achilles tendon in ultrasound with Simmonds' 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[edit]

The Simmonds' test has a positive predictive value of 13.7 and a negative predictive value of less than 0.1.[4]

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. [5]


It is named after Franklin Adin Simmonds (1911-1983), an English orthopaedic surgeon at the Rowley Bristow Hospital, Surrey.[6]


  1. ^ Thompson T (1962). "A test for rupture of the tendo achillis". Acta Orthop Scand. 32 (1–4): 461–5. doi:10.3109/17453676208989608. PMID 13981206.
  2. ^ Thompson T, Doherty J (1962). "Spontaneous rupture of tendon of Achilles: a new clinical diagnostic test". J Trauma. 2 (2): 126–9. doi:10.1097/00005373-196203000-00003. PMID 13920945.
  3. ^ Scott B, al Chalabi A (1992). "How the Simmonds-Thompson test works". J Bone Joint Surg Br. 74 (2): 314–5. PMID 1544978.
  4. ^ Starkey, Chad; Brown, Sara D; Ryan, Jeff (2010). Examination of Orthopedic and Athletic Injuries (Hardback) (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis. p. 270. ISBN 978-0-8036-1720-9.
  5. ^ Douglas, James; Kelly, Michael; Blachut, Piotr (2009). "Clarification of the Simmonds–Thompson test for rupture of an Achilles tendon". Canadian Journal of Surgery. pp. E40–E41. PMC 2689757. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  6. ^ Simmonds FA (1957). "The diagnosis of the ruptured Achilles tendon". Practitioner. 179 (1069): 56–8. PMID 13453094.