Amoss’ Sign is a thoracic spine examination procedure that checks for the presence of ankylosing spondylitis or intervertebral disc syndrome. 


Patient should be awake and cooperative during an Amoss’ Sign test.

  1. Patient lies down on her side. The examiner assists the patient in placing her feet and legs together, one of her arms underneath her head for support and the other arm placed across her body with her hands on the bed or examining table.
  2. The examiner tells the patient to move to a seated position.
  3. The examiner observes the patient for problems in assuming a seated position. He assesses for position of greatest comfort and signs of any discomfort or pain.

Patient is assessed for any difficulties and pain in assuming a seated position from a side lying position.


Positive Amoss’ Sign

There is positive Amoss’ Sign when the patient complains of localized thoracic or thoracolumbar spine pain. Severe pain may indicate the presence of ankylosing spondylitis or intervertebral disc syndrome.

Clinical Notes

The Amoss’ Sign is one way to detect intervertebral disc syndrome. The examiner should also include an assessment of the patient’s range of motion and overall general mobility.