This test is used to assess for the presence of rib fractures.

Performing the Test

  1. Place one hand on the patient's sternum and one hand on their thoracic spine
  2. Compress the chest in the AP plane
  3. Ask the patient if any pain was elicited with this manoeuvre.

Patients with rib fractures will report pain with AP compression that is localized to the area of the injured rib. This is helpful in distinguishing fracture from a soft-tissue injury.


  1. Bickley LS. The thorax and lungs. In: Bickley LS, Szilagyi PG. Bates' Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009:283-321.