Athletic Training & Sports Medicine Center


Examination Links:

  • Alphabetical Listing
    of Examinations
  • Head
    • Rhombterg
    • Neurological control
       - upper limb
    • Neurological control
       - lower limb
    • Tandem Test
    • Finger-to-nose test
    • Finger-thumb test
    • Hand flip test
    • Finger drumming test
    • Hand-thigh test
    • Past pointing test
    • Heel-to-knee test
    • Proprioceptive Movement
    • Proprioceptive Space Test
  • Cervical Spine
    • Spurling's Test
    • Distraction
    • Quandrant
    • Tinels' Sign
  • Thoracic Spine
    • Sagittal Plane ROM Test
    • Frontal Plane ROM Test
    • Transverse Plane ROM Test
  • Lumbar Spine
    • Straight Leg Raise Test
    • Sciatic Nerve Palpation Test
    • Bowstring Test
    • Slump Test
  • Shoulder
    • Apley Scratch Test
    • Apprehension Test
    • Relocation Test
    • Anterior Instability Test
    • Anterior/Posterior Translation
    • Sulcus Sign
    • Posterior G-H Instability Test
    • Inferior Drawer (Feagin) Test
    • Neer Impingement Test
    • Hawkins Kennedy
      Impingement Test
    • Empty Can Test
    • Internal Rotation Strength
    • External Rotation Strength
    • Glenoid Labrum Clunk Test
    • Andrews Anterior Instability
    • Anterior Drawer
    • Posterior Drawer
    • Prone Posterior Instability 
    • Push Pull Test
    • Apprehension Test
    • Fulcrum test
    • Jerk Sign or Jahnke Test
    • Load & Shift Test
    • Acromioclavicular Joint
      Stability Test
    • Cross Chest 
      (Horizontal Adduction) Test
    • Sternoclavicular Joint 
      Integrity Test
    • Speed's Test
    • Gilcrest's Palm-Up test
    • Ludington's Test
    • Drop Arm Test
    • Drop Sign
    • External Rotation Lag Sign
    • Internal Rotation Lag Sign
    • Gerber Lift-Off Test
    • O'Brien Test
    • Yergason Test
    • Biceps Load Test I
    • Biceps Load Test II
    • Winging Scapula Test
    • Adson Maneuver
    • Allen Test
    • Roo's Test
    • Halstead's Test
  • Elbow & Radioulnar
    • Valgus Test 00
    • Valgus Test 300
    • Valgus Test 900
    • Miking Sig
    • Cross Arm Valgus
       Stress Test
    • Varus Test 00
    • Varus Test 300
    • Tinel Sign
    • Lateral Compression Test
    • Valgus Extension Overload
    • Cozen Test
    • Mills Test
    • Distal Radioulnar Instability 
  • Wrist
    • Finkelstein's Test
    • Anatomical Snuff Box
      Compression Test
    • Phalen's Test or Wrist Press 
    • Tinel Sign
  • Hand & Fingers
    • Murphy's Signr
    • Boutonniere Deformity Test
    • Mallet Finger Test
    • Flexor Digitorum Superficialis
    • Flexor Digitorum Profundus
    • Gamekeeper's Thumb Test
    • MCP Radial Collateral 
      Ligament Stress Test
    • MCP Ulnar Collateral 
      Ligament Stress Test
    • PIP Radial Collateral 
      Ligament Stress Test
    • PIP Ulnar Collateral 
      Ligament Stress Test
    • DIP Radial Collateral 
      Ligament Stress Test
    • DIP Ulnar Collateral 
      Ligament Stress Test
    • Bunnel-Littler Test
    • Retinacular Test
    • Allen Test
  • Sacroiliac Joint
    • Ipsilateral Prone Kinetic Test
    • FABER Test
    • Passive Extension & Internal 
      Rotation of Ilium on Sacrum
    • Passive Flexion & External 
      Rotation of Ilium on Sacrum
    • Passive External Rotation 
      of Hip
    • Pelvic Rocking Test
    • Gapping Test
    • Prone Gapping (Hibb's) Test
    • Approximation Test
    • Squish Test
      Sacroiliac Rocking Test
    • Sacral Apex Pressure Test
    • Torsion Stress Test
    • Femoral Shear Test
    • Superoinferior Symphysis
      Pubic Stress Test
    • Piedallu's Sign
    • Flamingo Maneuver or Test
    • Gaenslen's Sign
    • Mazion's Pelvic Maneuver
    • Yeoman's Test
    • Sit-up Test
  • Hip & Thigh
    • Scouring (Quandrant) Test
    • FABER Test
    • Trendelenburg Test
    • Craig's Test
    • Torque Test
    • Stinchfield Test
    • Thomas Test
    • Ober Test
    • Pirifomis Test
    • Sign of the Buttock
    • Ely's Test
    • Hamstring Contracture Test 1
    • Tripod Test
    • 90-90 Straight Leg Test
    • Phelp's Test
  • Knee
    • Gravity Sign
    • Active Posterior/Anterior 
      Drawer Test
    • Posterolateral Drawer Test
    • Lachman
      • Tradiional
      • Thigh Assisted
      • Drop Leg
      • Table Side
      • Table End
      • Prone
      • Active
    • Posterolateral Drawer Test
    • Figure 4 Palpation
    • McMurray's Test
    • Apley's Grind Test
    • Lateral Compression Test
    • Medial Compression Test
    • Jerk Test of Hughston
    • Pivot Shift Test
    • External Rotation 
      Recurvatum Test
  • Lower Leg
  • Ankle
  • Foot
    • Morton Test
  • Range of Motion
  • Goniometry
  • Manual Muscle Testing
  • Reflexes
  • Vital Signs
  • Body Composition


Heel Tap Test

Examination type Bony Integrity
Patient & Body Segment Positioning Patient should be lying on their back on a table with their feet and legs relaxed
Examiner Position At the end of the table holding the patients toes with one hand and the other ready to strike the heel of the foot in hand
Tissues Being Tested Integrity of the tibia and the fibula.
Positive Test If pain occurs in the lower leg, it is a positive test
Interpretation This could mean that there is a fracture of the either the fibula or the tibia.
Common errors in performing exam The examiner needs to make sure that the patient is in the correct position to be relaxed.  This means the patient can not be sitting up or have their head bent up, this could give the examiner a false positive test. Examiner needs to tell the patient to be specific in telling where the pain is.
Factors possibly resulting in misinterpretation Some very sensitive people might feel pain with only an ankle sprain.  They might feel pain if a ligament is torn or a contusion to the fat pad on the heel exists.  They might also feel pain with the test if the interosseous membrane between the tibia and fibula is torn or stretched.
Related tests Compression test, Hoffa’s test & Squeeze test

Booher, James M., & Thibodeau Gary A. (2000). Athletic Injury Assessment Fourth Edition. U.S.A.: McGraw-Hill Companies, INC.

Magee, David J. (2002). Orthopedic Physical Assessment. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier. 


How the Test is Performed


The patient should be completely relaxed with their head back and their hands on their chest.  The examiner should grab the toe of the foot of the injured leg with one hand.  The examiner should then use the heel of the other hand to hit the heel of the foot being held and the examiner should strike with varying degrees of firmness.