Indications

Gaenslen’s Test is used to test determine if there is Sacroiliac (SI) joint pathology. The examination can also indicate Iliopsoas muscle contracture.

Procedure

  1. Patient supine, examiner flexes knee & thigh of affected leg to patient’s abdomen.
  2. Examiner then slowly hyperextends the opposite leg & observes the patient for signs of discomfort or pain.
  3. The test is then repeated on the opposite extremity.

Interpretation

Sacroiliac or anterior thigh pain Sacroiliac joint pathology (ligamentous sprain, instability)
Elevation of extended hip Iliopsoas contracture
No sacroiliac pain Possible lumbar pain origination

Clinical Notes

Clinician’s option: examiner may elect to have patient bring the knee to chest & hyperextend the straight leg off the lateral edge of the examination table.

Remember that sacroiliac joint pain can be referred to 5 main areas; ipsilateral groin, ipsilateral hip, posterior thigh, medial knee (possible presentation of Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis) & leg (less common).