Scientific bases and clinical utilisation of the calf-raise test Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Athletes commonly sustain injuries to the triceps surae muscle-tendon unit. The calf-raise test (CRT) is frequently employed in sports medicine for the detection and monitoring of such injuries. However, despite being widely-used, a recent systematic review found no universal consensus relating to the test's purpose, parameters, and standard protocols. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this paper is to provide a clinical perspective on the anatomo-physiological bases underpinning the CRT and to discuss the utilisation of the test in relation to the structure and function of the triceps surae muscle-tendon unit. DESIGN: Structured narrative review. METHODS: Nine electronic databases were searched using keywords and MESH headings related to the CRT and the triceps surae muscle-tendon unit anatomy and physiology. A hand-search of reference lists and relevant journals and textbooks complemented the electronic search. SUMMARY: There is evidence supporting the clinical use of the CRT to assess soleus and gastrocnemius, their shared aponeurosis, the Achilles tendon, and the combined triceps surae muscle-tendon unit. However, employing the same clinical test to assess all these structures and their associated functions remains challenging. CONCLUSIONS: Further refinement of the CRT for the triceps surae muscle-tendon unit is needed. This is vital to support best practice utilisation, standardisation, and interpretation of the CRT in sports medicine.

publication date

  • November 2009