Knee Orthopaedic Test: Apley's TestMay 26, 2023
Apley's test of the knee is a physical exam technique used to evaluate for meniscal tears in the knee joint. It is performed by a healthcare professional and involves applying pressure to the knee joint while the knee is flexed and extended.
Here is a step-by-step procedure for performing Apley's test:
- The patient should lie prone on an examination table with the affected knee flexed to 90 degrees.
- The examiner should stand at the patient's foot, grasp the ankle with one hand, and apply downward traction to the leg.
- With the other hand, the examiner should rotate the leg internally and externally while maintaining downward traction.
- The examiner should ask the patient to report any pain or discomfort during the rotation.
- The examiner should repeat the procedure while applying pressure to the lateral side of the knee to test the medial meniscus and vice versa to test the lateral meniscus.
- The examiner should compare the results to the unaffected knee.
If there is pain or discomfort during rotation, this may indicate a meniscal tear. However, further diagnostic testing, such as MRI or arthroscopy, may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
- Apley, G. A. (1947). The diagnosis of meniscus injuries and the torn meniscus. British journal of surgery, 35(141), 200-208.
- Magee, D. J. (2013). Orthopedic physical assessment (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Saunders/Elsevier.
- Dutton, M. (2012). Orthopaedic examination, evaluation, and intervention (3rd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Medical.
- Anderson, A. F., & Irrgang, J. J. (2001). Meniscal repair: Scientific rationale, surgical techniques, and clinical efficacy. Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy, 31(6), 315-331.
- Arshi, A., Cohen, J. R., Wang, J. C., Hame, S. L., & McAllister, D. R. (2014). Diagnostic accuracy of 3 physical examination tests in the assessment of meniscal tears of the knee. The American journal of sports medicine, 42(4), 906-911.
- Katz, J. N., Brophy, R. H., Chaisson, C. E., de Chaves, L., Cole, B. J., Dahm, D. L., ... & Martin, S. D. (2013). Surgery versus physical therapy for a meniscal tear and osteoarthritis. New England Journal of Medicine, 368(18), 1675-1684.
- Konan, S., Rayan, F., & Haddad, F. S. (2012). A clinical review of the assessment of meniscal tears. The surgeon, 10(1), 43-48.
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