What Is Rib Compression Test?
The rib compression test indicates impaired sternocostal or costovertebral joint or a rib fracture.
The rib compression test is performed when we are in suspicion that there is a rib fracture in a patient. To get the clinical evidence of the rib fracture, we will ask from the patient the site of rib pain as the site of rib pain will give you an idea of the fracture site, and after that, we will apply indirect stress to the suspected fracture site.
Precautions Before Performing Rib Compression Test
Do not perform this test in the presence of palpable rib deformity or crepitus.
The procedure of Performing the Rib Compression Test
Position of the Patient – The patient is either in a seated or standing position.
Step 1 – The examiner stands behind the patient with his or her hands on the opposite side of the rib cage. As you can see in the video below, the examiner’s left hand is on the left side of the patient’s rib cage. And examiner’s right hand is on the right side of the patient’s rib cage.
Step 2 – Now, the examiner will apply a medial to lateral force on the rib cage in the suspected fracture location.
Step 3 – The examiner then also applies an anterior to posterior force again over the suspected location. You can see in the video below.
Test Results of Rib Compression Test
Performing this test in the presence of a motion restriction or other joint irritation in one of these joints can bring out typical localized pain.
Positive Rib Compression Test
A positive rib compression test indicates pain or tenderness over the suspected involved segment. Therefore, pain along the body of a rib or between two ribs indicates a rib fracture or intercostal neuralgia.
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My self Ritvik Verma and I am a Physiotherapist and the founder of www.physio-study.com. I completed my bachelor’s of physiotherapy from Integral University Lucknow and an internship at KMC Hospital Meerut.
Then I worked in the Physiotherapy Department of Lovee Shubh Hospital (Lucknow) for one year. Then I joined Holistic Touch Physical Therapy & Wellness Clinic and worked there for more than six months.
I am running my clinic and writing blogs on my website, www.physio-study.com, in my hometown, Lakhimpur Kheri.