Gastroc Soleus Length Test

Differentiating between gastrocnemius and soleus length within a clinical setting can be challenging. A weight bearing measurement may have more functional carry over than standard non-weightbearing goniometric measurements.

We are presenting this test based on normative range of movement data and standardising the testing position and biomechanically controlling form i.e. movement compensations or substitutions in the leg and pelvis

 

Start Position:

•    Standing in a lunge stance position, facing a wall with the front foot 5 cm from the wall
•    The toes of the rear foot should be placed one foot length behind the heel of the front foot
•    The inside edges of both feet should face straight ahead and be on a line perpendicular to the wall
•    Place the hands on the wall for balance

Test Movement:

•    Keeping the kneecap aligned over 2nd toe and foot in neutral, shift body weight forward by lunging forward over the front foot
•    Keep the heels of both feet on the floor
•    Attempt to touch the front kneecap to the wall with the front knee flexed and the rear knee locked in full extension
•    Do not allow either foot to turn out
•    Keep the pelvis facing straight ahead at the wall. Do not alow the pelvis to rotate.
•    Note the position of the front knee from the wall
•    Note if the rear heel stays in contact with the floor

Benchmark:

The front kneecap can touch a wall that is 5 cm in front of the front toes while keeping both heels on the floor and the feet straight without the arch rolling in, the foot from turning out or knee moving in across midline

Impairments:

Controlling compensations of foot pronation, lateral turn out of foot and pelvic rotation are essential. If these compensations are not controlled a false reading may be taken.

Short:

Can you touch the front kneecap to a wall that is 5 cm in front of the front toes while keeping both heels on the floor and the feet straight? Prevent the arch from rolling in, the foot from turning out or knee moving in across midline while lunging forward on the front foot.

Soleus restriction: A lack of ability to touch the front kneecap to the wall (5cm in front of toes) with the heel down indicates a lack of soleus length

Gastrocnemius restriction: A lack of ability to keep the rear heel down with the knee locked and lunge forward (to the wall) indicates a lack of gastrocnemius length

Long:

If soleus is lengthened when this test is repeated, using the same alignment without the wall, the flexed knee on the front leg moves 8cm or more past the toes, whilst maintaining a supinated foot in sagittal plane

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