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Physical examination of the knee

Oleh: dr. Feby Deliana

Pembimbing: dr. Deta Tanuwidjadja.,SpKFR

• Observe the patient’s gait
• Soft tissue swelling
• Inspect the symmetry of
muscle contours above the
knee for any visible
muscular atrophy
Anterior view, standing
• note any malalignment/
deformity :Genu valgum
• Patella : should be
symmetrical and level
• Normally, the tibia has a
slight valgus angulation in
comparison to the femur.
Inspection : Lateral view

• Patella ( alta or baja )

Bony prominence
1. Infrapatellar tendon
• Place your hands upon the
knee joint so that your
fingers curves around to the
posterior popliteal area
• Place your thumbs on
anterior portion of the
knee and press into the soft
tissue depressions on
either side of the
infrapatellar tendon
Palpation : Medial Aspect

2. Medial Tibia Plateau

• Push thumb inferiorly
into the soft tissue
depression until you
can feel sharp upper
edge of medial tibial
Medial aspect

3. Tibial Tubercle
• Follow the infrapatellar
tendon distally to where
it insert into the tibial
Medial aspect
4. medial femoral condyle
• More palpable if the knee
flexed more than 90°
• The condyle is palpable
along its sharp medial
angle, proximally as far as
the superior portion of
the patella and distally to
the junction of the tibia
and femur
Medial aspect
5. Adductor tubercle
• On medial surface of
the medial femoral
condyle and move
further posteriorly
until you locate the
adductor tubercle in
the distal end of the
natural depression
between vastus
medialis and hamstring
Lateral aspect
1. Lateral femoral
• Palpable laterally
onto the sharp
edge of the lateral
femoral condyle
Lateral aspect
2. Head of fibula
• From lateral femoral
condyle, move your
thumb inferiorly and
posteriorly across the
joint line
Soft tissue palpation
1. m. quadriceps femoris
• Vastus medial and
lateral form visible
bulges on medial and
lateral sides of the knee
and easily palpable
• Defect are most often
found distally in rectus
femoris or vastus
intermedius just
proximal to the patella
• Look for any sign of
Soft tissue palpation
1. m. quadriceps femoris
• Measuring the
circumference of each
thigh about 3 inches
above knee
Sof tissue palpation
2. Infrapatellar tendon
• Palpable to its insertion into
the tibial tubercle
• Tenderness is often here in
young individuals (Osgood-
Schlatter Syndrome)
• The infrapatellar fat pad lies
immediately posterior to
the infrapatellar tendon at
the level of joint line.
• Tenderness -> may be
evidenced of hypertrophy
or contusion of the fat pad.
Soft tissue palpation
3. Medial meniscus
• Anterior margin of
the medial meniscus
itself just barely
palpable deep within
the joint space
• When the tibia is
internally rotate, its
medial edge
becomes more
prominent and
Soft tissue palpation
4. Medial collateral
• Relocate the
medial joint line.
• As you move
,medially and
posteriorly along
the joint line, the
ligament lies
directly under your
Soft tissue palpation
5. Sartorius, gracilis, and
semitendinosus tendons
• To palpate, stabilize the
patient’s leg by holding it
securely with your own legs.
• Cup your finger around the
knee and feel the tautness of
the tendons
• Semitendinosus tendon is the
most posterior and inferior you
can feel; gracilis lies slightly
anterior and medial to the
• Wide, thick band of the muscle
just above the gracilis tendon
is the sartorius
Soft tissue palpation
6. Biceps femoris tendon
• Knee flexed, palpate
near its insertion
Soft tissue palpation

7. Iliotibial band
• Palpable to the point
where it insert to the
lateral tibial tubercle
Soft tissue palpation
8. Common peroneal nerve
• Palpable where it crosses
the neck of the fibula
• Nerve can be rolled gently
between the tip of your
finger and neck of the
fibula, slightly inferior to the
insertion of the biceps
femoris muscle.
Soft tissue palpation
10. Popliteal artery
• Because covered by the
fascia, the nerve and
the vein, it may be
difficult to feel the
popliteal pulse.
• Absence of this pulse
may be due to vascular
occlusive disease
Soft tissue palpation
11. Popliteal fossa
• Swelling in the fossa
may indicate a popliteal
cyst, palpable when the
knee extended
Test for joint stability
1. Medial collateral ligament
• Secure his ankle with one
hand, other hand around the
knee so that your thenar
eminence is against fibular
• Push medially against the
knee and laterally against the
ankle in an attempt to open
knee joint on inside (valgus
• palpate the medial joint line
for gapping
• When stressed of injured joint
is relieved, fell the tibia and
femur “clunk” together as
they close
Test for joint stability
2. Lateral collateral
• Push laterally against
the knee and medially
against the ankle to
open the knee joint on
lateral side (varus
Test for joint stability
3. Cruciate ligament
• Cup your hands around
his knee, with your
fingers on the area of
insertion of the medial
and lateral hamstring
and yor thumbs on
medial and lateral joint
• Draw the tibia toward
you. Positive -> it slides
forward from under the
• Posterior cruciate
ligament -> conversely