Ely’s Heel to Buttock Test, also called Ely’s Sign, is used to determine if femoral nerve or root compression is present. The examination can also indicate a quadriceps muscle contracture or iliopsoas muscle strain.
- Patient prone with legs relaxed.
- Examiner passively flexes knee approximating heel to contralateral buttock.
- Examiner then extends hip by elevating the knee.
Positive Ely’s Heel to Buttock Test
- Pain with knee flexion: Femoral nerve or root compression, quadriceps muscle contracture
- Pain with hip extension: Femoral nerve or root compression, iliopsoas muscle strain or inflammation
It is possible with L1-L3 disc herniation to have radicular symptoms radiate to the anterior thigh and groin.