Buerger’s test is an ankle examination procedure that is used to to evaluate arterial sufficiency.


The patient has to be awake and cooperative in a Buerger’s Test.

  1. Patient is supine with legs straight.
  2. Examiner then lifts patient’s straight leg to an angle of 45 degrees & holds position for 3 minutes.
  3. Examiner then lowers the leg and allows it to dangle.
  4.  The examiner instructs the patient to sit up.

Patient supine with legs straight.
Examiner then lift patient’s straight leg to angle of 45 degrees & holds position for 3 minutes.
Examiner then lowers the leg  to dangle and instruct the patient to sit up.



Positive Buerger’s Test

There is positive Buerger’s test when there is more than 1 to 2 minutes required for cyanosis or redness and refilling of the dorsal veins of the foot to occur. This sign could indicate lower extremity vascular compromise, peripheral vascular disease, atherosclerosis, chronic compartment syndrome.

Clinical Notes

It is possible for sciatic-like pain to be produced from lower extremity vascular disorders. The test aids in the differential diagnosis between vascular and neurogenic pain generators.