Knee Orthopaedic Test: Wilson's Test

orthopaedic tests May 29, 2023

Wilson's test is a physical examination technique used to assess for a lateral meniscus tear in the knee joint. Here are the steps to perform Wilson'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. Rotate the patient's foot and lower leg laterally, or away from the midline of the body.
4. Apply a valgus stress to the knee, or push the knee inward.
5. Ask the patient to extend their knee while maintaining the foot and lower leg in lateral rotation.
6. Repeat the test with the foot and lower leg in medial rotation.

If the patient experiences pain or discomfort along the joint line or lateral aspect of the knee during the test, this may indicate a lateral meniscus tear. However, it is important to note that Wilson's test should be used in conjunction with other examination techniques and diagnostic tests to accurately diagnose knee injuries.


  1. Zaremski, Jason L., Daniel C. Herman, and Kevin R. Vincent. "Clinical utility of Wilson test for osteochondral lesions at the knee." Current Sports Medicine Reports 14.6 (2015): 430.
  2. Bronstein, Robert D., and Joseph C. Schaffer. "Physical examination of the knee: meniscus, cartilage, and patellofemoral conditions." JAAOS-Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 25.5 (2017): 365-374.
  3. Greidanus, Nelson V., et al. "Use of erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein level to diagnose infection before revision total knee arthroplasty: a prospective evaluation." JBJS 89.7 (2007): 1409-1416.

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