Physical Assessment | Spinal Orthopaedics
Goldthwait’s Test is an orthopaedic test used to differentiate between Lumbar spine pathology and Sacroiliac (SI) joint pathology.
- Patient supine, examiner slowly raises the patient’s affected leg with one hand while palpation motion at the lumbar spine with the other hand.
- Test is then repeated on the opposite side.
Goldthwait’s test can be used to differentiate between lumbar spine and sacroiliac joint pathology.
Positive Goldthwait’s’ Test
There are two interpretation for a positive Goldthwait’s Test.
- Pain before lumbar spine motion is felt: Sacroiliac joint pathology (ligamentous sprain, arthritis).
- Pain beginning when lumbar spine motion is felt: Lumbosacral pathology (sprain/strain, possible disc syndrome).
Sacroiliac joint involvement should be suspected if the unaffected leg can be elevated higher than the affected leg.