Common Knee Tests in Orthopedic Examination

The following is a list of the many common tests used by physical therapists and other orthopedic/orthopaedic practitioners when examining the knee. The tests will eventually have links to descriptions of the tests as well as video demonstrations. If you know of a test that should be included in this list, please let us know.

Ligaments of the knee Ligaments of the Knee – Wikimedia Commons

The knee is the largest joint in the body and is also the most commonly injured joint. As a result there are many special tests that have been developed to help diagnose the source of knee pain, stability and function. The following is a list of some of the many special tests that have been developed for the knee.

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Orthopedic Special Tests for the Knee

  • Anterior Drawer Test – ligamentous stability 
  • Bounce Home Test – meniscal or pathology 
  • Apley’s Compression/Grinding Test – meniscal or pathology 
  • Apprehension Sign 
  • Lachman Test – ligamentous stability 
  • McMurray’s Test – meniscal tear or pathology 
  • Noble Compression Test 
  • Patellar Grind Test 
  • Pivot Shift Test – ligamentous stability 
  • Posterior Drawer Test – ligamentous stability 
  • Posterior Tibial Sag – ligamentous stability 
  • Slocum’s ALRI Test – ligamentous stability 
  • Thessaly Test – meniscal tear / lesion
  • Valgus Stress Test – ligamentous stability 
  • Varus Stress Test – ligamentous stability 

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