Indications

Doorbell sign is a useful test to determine if cervical spine pain is due to local tissue injury or due to an irritation in the nerve root.

Procedure

  1. Patient seated
  2. Examiner uses his/her fingertips to compress neurologic and muscular structures in the lateral aspect of the neck observing for signs of pain or discomfort.

Doorbell Sign - Cervical spine orthopaedic test

Examiner uses his/her fingertips to compress neurologic and muscular structures in the lateral aspect of the neck

Interpretation

Positive Doorbell Sign

  1. Positive Local pain: Local tissue damage, sprain, strain.
  2. Positive Arm pain: Nerve root irritation or inflammation.

Clinical Notes

The name “doorbell” sign is given due to the fact that when the injured is pressed there is an almost immediate result of pain (pressing a doorbell results in an almost immediate “ding-dong”).