Tests & Screenings
Obtaining the most accurate diagnosis is one of the first steps in proper treatment for your knee pain. Desert Regional Medical Center offers a wide range of tests and screenings. Below are some common diagnostic tests and screenings.
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Anterior and posterior drawer test
A physician requests an anterior drawer test to assess the strength of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), while the posterior drawer test is used for the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). On both tests, the patient lies flat on the back as the examiner bends the knee 90 degrees. Pulling the shin forward checks the stability of the ACL. Pulling the shin backward checks the stability of the PCL.
Collateral ligament stability
A physician uses this to detect problems of the collateral ligaments: the medial cruciate ligament (MCL) and the lateral cruciate ligament (LCL). With the patient lying flat on the back with the knee slightly bent, the examiner shifts the shin side to side. If the knee opens up excessively, there may be damage to the LCL or MCL.
A typical test for ACL tears, the Lachman Test is performed by an examiner with the patient lying flat on the back. The examiner bends the knee 20 degrees, pulling the shin forward while stabilizing the thigh. Knees with an injured ACL often demonstrate a less firm endpoint and more movement.
For physicians, testing knee mobility is a key factor in measuring knee health. If arthritis, bone spurs or swelling are present, the range of motion of the knee typically becomes limited.
McMurray’s Test is performed by an examiner with the patient lying flat on the back and the examiner bending the knee. A click is felt over the meniscus tear as the knee is brought from full flexion to full extension.
Physicians use this assessment to determine if the kneecap is unstable. The examiner puts pressure on the kneecap. If the patient feels as if the kneecap is going to pop out of its groove, it may be unstable
During this test, the patient lies flat with the leg extended. The examiner pushes the kneecap down as the patient flexes the thigh muscles. If the patient experiences a grinding sensation, damaged cartilage may be present.
Used to find cartilage damage, the examiner lifts the kneecap slightly, placing direct pressure on the undersurface of the kneecap.