What is the role of talar tilt test in the evaluation of ankle sprains?

Updated: Jan 14, 2019
  • Author: Craig C Young, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
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Answer

The talar tilt test, or inversion stress maneuver, is performed with the patient supine or on his/her side, with the foot relaxed. The gastrocnemius must also be relaxed by flexion of the knee. The talus is then tilted from side to side into adduction and abduction. The findings should be compared with those for the contralateral side. Abduct and invert the heel. If a firm endpoint cannot be felt when compared with the opposite ankle, suspect damage to the CFL. Note that the degree of tilt ranges from 0-23°. In many cases, this test is difficult, if not impossible, to perform secondary to patient pain and swelling. The exam is demonstrated in the image below.

Talar tilt test. Talar tilt test.

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