Noble Test (Noble Compression test) is used for iliotibial band syndrome that causes pain and frictional over the lateral femoral epicondyle.
How it’s Performed?
The patient is supine. The examiner passively flexes the patient’s knee 90° and the hip approximately 50°.
With the fingers of the other hand, the examiner gently presses on the lateral femoral condyle.
Maintaining the flexion in the hip and pressure on the lateral femoral condyle, the examiner then increasingly extends the knee passively.
Once the knee is in about 40° of flexion, the patient is requested to fully extend the knee.
What does a positive Noble Test mean?
Noble Test is considered positive if palpable snapping or localized pain (that is increased with pressure) is elected over the lateral epicondyle of the femur especially at 30 degrees of flexion (Extending the knee from 30° of flexion places maximum stress on the iliotibial tract.)
This suggests a contracture of the muscle or of the iliotibial tract itself.
Pain in the posterior thigh that occurs with increasing extension is most likely indicative of a contracture of the hamstrings and should not be confused with a contracture of the tensor fasciae latae.
This test is often positive during walking when an iliotibial band friction syndrome is present.
The tensor fasciae latae arises from the anterolateral margin of the ilium (anterior superior iliac spine ASIS). It is an anterior branch of the gluteus medius.
Its tendon inserts into the anterior margin of the iliotibial tract, which reinforces the fascia lata of the thigh.
The tensor fasciae latae inserts into the iliotibial tract, which in turn inserts into the tubercle of Gerdy on the proximal tibia.
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Vieira EL, Vieira EA, da Silva RT, Berlfein PA, Abdalla RJ, Cohen M. An anatomic study of the iliotibial tract. Arthroscopy. 2007 Mar;23(3):269-74. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2006.11.019. PMID: 17349469.
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Clinical Tests for the Musculoskeletal System 3rd Edition.