Slump Test is a neural physical examination that is used for detecting disc bulging / herniation of the lumbar spine or irritation of the dura of the spinal cord.
It is a combination of other neuromeningeal tests, namely, the seated SLR, neck flexion, and lumbar slumping.
It was first described by Charles Lasègue (1816 – 1883) a French physician who also found the popular neurology test known as “Straight Leg Raise SLR (Lasegue Test)“.
The patient sits upright on the examining table with the legs hanging loosely over the edge of the table. The hips are in a neutral position and the hands are placed behind the back.
The examination is performed step by step as following:
During the course of the test, pains may occur that must be defined in the differential diagnosis, these include:
A prospective case control study by Javid Majlesi that was done on 75 patients with complaints suggestive of lumbar disc herniation, he found that the slump test has a high Sensitivity and Specificity as following 1:
The Conclusion of the study was that the Slump test might be used more frequently as a sensitive physical examination tool in patients with symptoms of lumbar disc herniations, while the Straight Leg Raise SLR (Lasegue Test) may especially help identify patients who have herniations with root compression that requiring surgery.
Another study 2 comparing Straight Leg Raise SLR (Lasegue Test) and slump test, it showed that the sensitivity of slump test was 80 % compared to 87 % for SLR test , while the specificity of slump test was 71 % compared to 42 % of SLR test.
|Slump test||80 %||71 %|
|Straight Leg Raise SLR (Lasegue Test)||87 %||42 %|
Bechterew’s test is an abbreviated slump test, performed by asking the seated patient to actively extend his or her uninvolved leg at the knee, to lower that leg and then subsequently extend the involved leg. If symptoms are not produced, the patient is asked to extend both legs at the knee simultaneously.
A positive finding includes the reproduction of radicular pain below the knee, inability to attain full knee extension, leaning backward and bracing oneself on the table (tripod sign), or any combination thereof.
Sitting root test is another test similar to the slump test.
With the patient seated and his or her neck flexed to the chest, the clinician places one hand on the distal thigh of the tested leg to prevent hip flexion and uses the other hand to extend the lower leg at the knee.
Any of the typical SLR responses is considered a positive finding.
If the test is negative, the clinician may increase tension placed on neural elements by adding trunk flexion.
The slump test assesses the excursion of neural tissues within the vertebral canal and intervertebral foramen58 and detects impairments to neural tissue mobility from a number of sources.
The slump test enables the tester to detect adverse nerve root tension caused by spinal stenosis, extraforaminal lateral disk herniation, disk sequestration, nerve root adhesions, and vertebral impingement.
One study 3 found that a positive slump test was recorded in 57% of subjects with apparent repetitive grade I hamstring strains suggesting some form of relationship between the hamstrings and the sciatic nerve.
The only advantage of the slump test over the Straight Leg Raise SLR (Lasegue Test) is that it increases the compression forces through the intervertebral disks and will highlight the presence of dural adhesions.