Clinical diagnosis of gastrocnemius tightness

Foot Ankle Clin. 2014 Dec;19(4):659-67. doi: 10.1016/j.fcl.2014.08.004. Epub 2014 Sep 26.


The diagnosis of gastrocnemius tightness is primarily clinical using the Silfverskiold test, which shows an equinus deformity at the ankle with the knee extended but that disappears with the knee flexed. The manner in which the Silfverskiold test is performed must be consistent with respect to the applied strength of the maneuver, correction of a flexible hindfoot valgus deformity while performing the test, and reproducibility. Although this is a diagnosis based on the clinical examination, this article presents additional clinical signs that can help to make the diagnosis when the retraction is not clinically evident. These include knee recurvatum, hip flexion, lumbar hyperlordosis, and forefoot overload.

Keywords: Equinus; Gastrocnemius; Triceps surae.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contracture / diagnosis*
  • Contracture / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Range of Motion, Articular