Orthoteers homepage Advertise on Orthoteers
Orthoteers Junior Orthoteers Orthopaedic Biomechanics Orthopaedic World Literature Society Educational Resources Image Gallery About Orthoteers Orthoteers Members search

Knee examination

Check distal neurovascular status


  • Whilst standing and walking
  • Skin- scars, redness
  • Muscle- wasting of quads ( compare diameter of thigh if quads wasted )
  • Bone/joint- Effusion, Varus Valgus deformity( measure intermalleolar distance if valgus), Q angle
  • Remember to look in popliteal fossa
  • Knee & ankle postitions (hamstring tightness)
  • Walking - look for varus thrust = collapse into more varus in stance loading (dynamic varus due to medial compartment OA or lateral lig. laxity)


  • Skin - Temperature, back of hand
  • Muscle- Ask patient to contract quads
  • Bone/joint- Effusion fluid displacement test, patellar tap test (may be negative if tense effusion)
  • Synovial thickening
  • Joint line tenderness (with knee bent)
    • Femoral condyles (with knee bent)
    • Patellar tendon
    • MCL,LCL
    • Under patellar facets
    • Popliteal swellings


  • Active then passive-

  • Flexion (135 degrees normal)

  • Extension

  • Feel for crepitus




leg under arm, 2 hands, 10 degrees flexion to relax the posterior capsule (careful not to rotate knee)

MCL - valgus stress in extension & flexion. Opening in extension implies injury to the posterior oblique ligament (= combined ligamentous injury)

LCL - is only taut in full extension & lax in flexion

This is a preview of the site content. To view the full text for this site, you need to log in.
If you are having problems logging in, please refer to the login help page.

© 2005-2007 Orthoteers.co.uk - last updated: 23 October 2007Medical Merketing and SEO by Blue Medical 
Biomet supporting orthoteersThe British Orthopedic Association supporting OrthoteersOrthoteers is a non-profit educational resource. Click here for more details
A Standard Trendelenburg Test
Cauda Equina Syndrome
Cerebral Palsy examination
Clinical Examination Book
Clinical Examination Videos
Clinical Signs & Tests
Elbow examination
Foot & ankle examination
Hand examination
Hip examination
Jules Froment
Knee - Pivot Shift Test
Knee examination
Neurological examination
Posterolateral Instability of the K...
Rupture of the central slip of the ...
Short case examination tips / appro...
Shoulder examination
Shoulder Instability Tests
Spine examination
Wrist examination
Hide Menu