Rovsing's sign is a sign of appendicitis. It is named after Niels Thorkild Rovsing, a Danish surgeon. A positive Rovsing's sign is when pain is felt at McBurney's point (i.e. the point over the right side of the abdomen that is one-third of the distance from the anterior superior iliac spine to the umbilicus ornavel)1 when a pressure is exerted over the descending colon. A palpation in the left iliac fossa resulting in pain in the right iliac fossa is an indication of an acute appendicitis.2 This occurs since the location of pain nerves in the intestines are not as precise as it is in muscles. Appendix is a tube connected to the cecum. An early inflammation involving the appendix may result in an irritation near the umbilicus. Only when the inflammation becomes severe that the pain may be localized or specific. Pain is felt when a pressure is applied to the muscles of the iliac fossa adjacent to the inflamed appendix. The inflammation of the appendix is called appendicitis. Patients with appendicitis may complain of pain in the right lower abdominal, nausea, vomiting and decreased appetite.3
1 McBurney's point. Retrieved from [].
2 Rovsing's sign. Retrieved from [].
3 Graffeo, C. S. & Counselman, F. L. (1996). "Appendicitis.". Emergency medicine clinics of North America 14 (4): 653–71.