Weight-bearing Lunge Test

Original Editor - Wanda van Niekerk

Lead Editors  

Purpose

The Weight-bearing lunge test (WBLT) or Dorsiflexion Lunge Test (DFT) is used to assess the dorsiflexion range of movement (DROM) at the ankle joint. [1][2][3]


Technique

This test needs to be done against a wall. A standard tape measure (cm) is necessary. Participants are asked to place their foot in such a way that a imaginary line drawn through the heel and big toe are aligned on the tape measure on the floor. Furthermore, a vertical line is drawn on the wall in line with the tape measure. Participants are instructed to lunge forward until their knee touches the wall (vertical line). The heel is required to remain in contact with the floor at all times. The foot is moved away from the wall to the point where the knee can only make slight contact with the wall, while the heel remains in contact with the floor. This puts the ankle joint in maximal dorsiflexion. The leg not being tested can rest on the the floor and participants are allowed to hold onto the wall for support. The maximum distance from the wall to the tip of the big toe is recorded. The distance is measured in centimeters (cm) with each centimeter corresponding to approximately 3.6° of ankle dorsiflexion. [4]

[5]

Evidence

The inter-rater reliability for the distance measured for the weight bearing lunge test was R = 0.99 (95% CL: 0.97 - 0.99)[4] The intra-rater reliability for the measurement was also excellent (ICC between 0.98 - 0.99).[3][4] Furthermore, a recent systematic review[1] on the reliability of the of the weight-bearing lunge test reported that there was strong evidence that inter-rater reliability (ICC = 0.80 - 0.99) as well as intra-rater reliability (ICC = 0.65 - 0,99) of the weight-bearing lunge test is good.[1] It was suggested that the weight-bearing lunge test is a reliable method of assessing ankle dorsiflexion range of motion as it provides consistent results and demonstrates reasonable responsiveness.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Powden CJ, Hoch JM, Hoch MC. Reliability and minimal detectable change of the weight-bearing lunge test: A systematic review.Man Ther. 2015 Aug;20(4):524-32 (last accessed 12 November 2018)
  2. Konor MM, Morton S, Eckerson JM, Grindstaff TL. Reliability of three measures of ankle dorsiflexion range of motion. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2012 Jun; 7(3): 279–287.(last accessed 12 November 2018).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dennis RJ, Finch CF, Elliott BC, Farhart PJ. The reliability of musculoskeletal screening tests used in cricket. Phys Ther Sport. 2008 Feb;9(1):25-33.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Bennell KL, Talbot RC, Wajswelner H, Techovanich W, Kelly DH, Hall AJ. Intra-rater and inter-rater reliability of a weight-bearing lunge measure of ankle dorsiflexion.Aust J Physiother. 1998;44(3):175-180. (last accessed 12 November 2018).
  5. Physiotutors.The Weight Bearing Lunge Test or Wall Test | Ankle Mobility. Available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7woPNLUT3Q (last accessed 12 November 2018)