Health Questions and Answers

Question: Straight leg raising is a useful diagnostic maneuver in what common condition?

Answer:

The straight leg raising test is designed to reproduce back pain secondary to nerve root compression. The leg is lifted by the calcaneus with the knee remaining straight. Bringing the heel across the other leg (called cross-table straight leg raising) may increase the sensitivity of this maneuver.

Reference:  Sheon RP, et al (eds): Soft Tissue Rheumatic Pain: Recognition, Management and Prevention, 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1996

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