Scientific bases and clinical utilisation of the calf-raise test
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BACKGROUND: Athletes commonly sustain injuries to the triceps surae muscle-tendon unit. The calf-raise test (CRT) is frequently employed in sports medicine for the detection and monitoring of such injuries. However, despite being widely-used, a recent systematic review found no universal consensus relating to the test's purpose, parameters, and standard protocols. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this paper is to provide a clinical perspective on the anatomo-physiological bases underpinning the CRT and to discuss the utilisation of the test in relation to the structure and function of the triceps surae muscle-tendon unit. DESIGN: Structured narrative review. METHODS: Nine electronic databases were searched using keywords and MESH headings related to the CRT and the triceps surae muscle-tendon unit anatomy and physiology. A hand-search of reference lists and relevant journals and textbooks complemented the electronic search. SUMMARY: There is evidence supporting the clinical use of the CRT to assess soleus and gastrocnemius, their shared aponeurosis, the Achilles tendon, and the combined triceps surae muscle-tendon unit. However, employing the same clinical test to assess all these structures and their associated functions remains challenging. CONCLUSIONS: Further refinement of the CRT for the triceps surae muscle-tendon unit is needed. This is vital to support best practice utilisation, standardisation, and interpretation of the CRT in sports medicine.
Physical Therapy in Sport
Copyright 2009 Elsevier. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.