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Obriens Needle Test

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Other Names

  • O'brien's needle test


Demonstration of a normal Obrien's needle test. On the left with passive dorseflexion and on the right with passive plantarflexion[1]
  • Evaluate the integrity of the Achilles Tendon
  • Note that this test is uncommonly performed


  • A 25 gauge needle is inserted perpendicular to the calf muscle
    • Medial to midline, 10 cm proximal to superior border of calcenus
    • Needle tip should be in substance of achilles tendon
  • Normal
    • Motion of the needle hub in the direction opposite that of the tendon during passive dorsiflexion and plantarflexion



  • Unknown

See Also


  1. O’Brien T. The Needle Test for Complete Rupture of the Achilles Tendon. J Bone and Joint Surgery, 66-a (7), 1984.
Created by:
John Kiel on 17 May 2021 15:32:01
Last edited:
17 May 2021 15:39:10