Knee Examination

Knee complaints are very common presentations to A&E, general practice as well as orthopaedic clinics. Some hospitals even have special “knee” clinics. Common presenting complaints are pain in the knee, the knee locking or giving way. Common conditions that cause these symptoms include arthritis, ligament and/or cartilage injuries.

The knee examination, along with all other joint examinations, is commonly tested on in OSCEs. You should ensure you are able to perform this confidently.
The examination of all joints follows the general pattern of “look, feel, move” as well as occasionally special tests, in which this station has many.

Subject steps

  1. Start by washing your hands and introduce yourself to the patient. Clarify the patient’s identity and explain what you would like to examine, gain their consent. Ensure both knees are appropriately exposed, in this case the patient will probably be wearing shorts.

  2. Allow the patient to dress and thank them.  Wash your hands and report your findings to the examiner.