McMurray Test

doctor knee bend
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The McMurray test is used to detect a meniscus tear in the knee.   A torn meniscus is a common cause of knee pain.  While many people think of MRIs first, the proper way to detect a meniscus tear is first to listen to the patient's description of their symptoms.  Second, to examine the knee joint to detect any abnormalities, and finally to obtain any necessary studies to confirm the suspected diagnosis.

The McMurray test is performed with the patient lying down flat and the examiner fully bending the knee. With the knee held in full flexion, the examiner rotates the foot.  A test is considered positive when a click is felt over the meniscus as the knee is brought from full flexion (completely bent) to 90 degrees of flexion.  When the foot is rotated outwards (externally) your examiner is feeling for a medial meniscus tear, and when the foot is rotated inwards (internally) your examiner is feeling for a lateral meniscus tear. 

The Mcmurrary's test is particularly valuable for detecting tears in the posterior aspect of the meniscus.  Central tears are also sometimes detected with this maneuver, whereas anterior meniscus tears are not well detected by the McMurray test. 

This Is NOT a McMurray Test

Sometimes an examiner will forcefully bend the knee all the way back and consider it a positive test if a patient has pain along the joint line.

  This maneuver is not a McMurray test.  In order for a true McMurray sign to be present, the examiner must feel a click as the knee is brought from a fully bent position, to a more straight position.

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