Knee Orthopaedic Test: Slocum's Test

orthopaedic tests May 29, 2023

Slocum's test is a physical examination technique used to assess for anterolateral rotatory instability (ALRI) of the knee joint. Here are the steps to perform Slocum's test:

1. Have the patient lie down on their back on the examination table with their legs straight.
2. Flex the patient's affected knee to 90 degrees.
3. Place one hand on the patient's ankle and the other hand on the patient's knee.
4. While maintaining a valgus stress on the knee, or pushing the knee outward, externally rotate the patient's foot and lower leg.
5. Ask the patient to actively extend their knee while maintaining the valgus stress and external rotation.
6. Repeat the test with internal rotation of the foot and lower leg.

If the patient experiences increased anterior translation of the tibia on the femur or a "clunk" sensation with external rotation and decreased anterior translation with internal rotation, this may indicate ALRI. However, it is important to note that Slocum's test should be used in conjunction with other examination techniques and diagnostic tests to accurately diagnose knee injuries.



  1. Evans KN, Kilcoyne KG, Dickens JF. Special Tests for Knee Ligaments. In: DeLee JC, Drez D Jr, Miller MD, eds. DeLee & Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014: Chapter 92.
  2. Magee DJ. Orthopedic Physical Assessment. 7th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2013: Chapter 10.
  3. Dutton M. Dutton's Orthopedic Examination, Evaluation, and Intervention. 5th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education; 2020: Chapter 17.
  4. Hoppenfeld S. Physical Examination of the Spine and Extremities. East Norwalk, CT: Appleton & Lange; 1976: Chapter 9.
  5. Clinical Orthopaedic Examination Videos: Knee Special Tests. Physiopedia website. Available at: Accessed October 14, 2021.

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