Cover image of Orthopedic Assessment Methods

Orthopedic Assessment Methods

This blog is used to post instructional videos which can be used to learn various techniques used to assess orthopedic injuries. The content is not supplied as a form of self diagnosis.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

Popular episodes

All episodes

The best episodes ranked using user listens.

Podcast cover

Shoulder - Sulcus Sign

Click to Play The sulcus sign is an examination to determine the extent and/or presence of inferior instability of the glenohumeral joint.  This test can be administered with the patient either seated or standing with his arm relaxed at her side.  The examiner palpates the shoulder by placing her thumb and fingers on the anterior and posterior aspects of the humeral head.  The examiner grasps the patient's elbow with her other hand and applies a downward distraction force.  A positive test will result in a sulcus being formed between the acromion and the humeral head as the humeral head moves inferiorly while the force is being applied.

26 Jan 2007

Rank #1

Podcast cover

Knee - Patellar Apprehension Test

Click to Play The Acute Patella Injury Test (aka Apprehension Test) is used to assess the possibility that the patient may have sustained a patellar dislocation which spontaneously reduced.  This test provokes the same sensations which would have been present when the dislocation occured and therefore will elicit a reactive contraction of the quadriceps muscles by the patient in an attempt to avoid a recurrance of the dislocation.  This reaction is referred to as an apprehension sign.  The patient lies supine on the table with the knee in 20-30 degrees of flexion and the quadriceps relaxed.  The examiner carefully glides the patella laterally observing for the apprehension sign.  A positive test is the presence of this reaction by the patient.

15 Feb 2007

Rank #2

Similar Podcasts

Podcast cover

Ankle - Talar Tilt Test

Click to Play The talar tilt test is used to examine the integrity of the calcaneofibular or the deltoid ligament. The patient is seated confortably on the end of an exam table. Possible alternate positions can be sidelying or supine. The examiner grasps the foot and places it in anatomical position while stabilizing the tibia and fibula. To test the calcaneofibular ligament the examiner will adduct and invert the calcaneous into a varus position. The deltoid ligament is examined by abducting and everting the calcaneous into a valgus position. A positive test will result in laxity and/or pain.

8 Jan 2007

Rank #3

Podcast cover

Ankle - Anterior Drawer Test

Click to Play The Anterior Drawer Test is used to assess for instability of the ankle. Laxity is typically due to a sprain of the anterior talofibular ligament. To administer the test the examiner stabilizes the lower leg of the patient with one hand while the other hand cups the heel. An anterior force is applied to the heel while attempting to move the talus anteriorly in the ankle mortise. This test is administered bilaterally and results are compared.

8 Jan 2007

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

Podcast cover

Shoulder - Apprehension Test

Click to Play The shoulder Apprehension test is also known as the Fowler test or the Jobe relocation test.  The examination is used to assess for shoulder instability.  This examination is best partnered with the shoulder relocation test.  The apprehension test (AKA crank test) is used to assess for an anterior shoulder dislocation.  The patient lies on the table supine with the shoulder abducted 90-degrees and maximum external rotation.  The examiner typically will support the humerus with one hand while applying overpressure to the external rotation of the shoulder.  A positive test will result in the patient reacting to the movement by preventing further rotation or appearing apprehensive.  It is at this point that the relocation test is typically administered.

24 Jan 2007

Rank #5

Podcast cover

Ankle - Lower Leg Compression Test

Click to Play Pott's Compression (AKA squeeze) test is used to assess for the presence of a fracture of the lower leg. The examiner places the pads his or her hands on either side of the upper portion of the leg, one being located just distal to the head of the fibula and the other being at the same level on the medial border of the tibia. The examiner then pushes his or her hands together to squeeze the tibia and fibula together. If the athlete reports a pain at the distal tibia or distal fibula the exam is considered positive.

8 Jan 2007

Rank #6

Podcast cover

Shoulder - Empty Can Test

Click to Play The empty can test is used to assess for the presence of injury/pathology to the supraspinatus.  This test is also known as the supraspinatus strength test.  The patient is either seated or standing with his arms in a position of scapation (approximately 30-degrees of horizontal adduction with the shoulders abducted to 90-degrees).  The patient attempts to resist downward overpressure being applied by the examiner.  A positive result occurs when the patient is unable to resist the force.

24 Jan 2007

Rank #7

Podcast cover

Ankle - Kleiger's Test

Click to Play This test is used to determine if there is instability caused by a sprain of the Deltoid ligament of the ankle. The patient is examined in a seated position with his or her knee flexed over the end of the table and foot relaxed non-weight bearing. The examiner grasps the foot and rotates it laterally in the mortise of the ankle. Increased instability compared bilaterally with or without pain is an indication of a positive test. The examiner may also palpate a talar displacement.

8 Jan 2007

Rank #8

Podcast cover

Shoulder - Adson's Test

Click to Play Adson's test is used to assess for the presence of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome at the scalene triangle. The patient is examined standing. The examiner palpates the radial pulse while moving the upper extremity in abduction, extension, and external rotation. The patient then is asked to rotate her head toward the involved side while taking a deep breath and holding it. A positive exam will result in a diminished or absent radial pulse.

9 Jan 2007

Rank #9

Podcast cover

Knee - McMurray's Test

Click to Play The McMurray test is a test used to determine the presence of a meniscal tear.  While the patient is supine on the exam table the examiner grasps the knee, placing one hand over the top of the knee with her thumb over one joint line and her index and middle finger over the opposite joint line.  The examiner begins with the knee in full flexion and then medially and laterally rotates the tibia while paying attention for an audible click.  The examiner then laterally rotates the tibia and extends the knee beyond 90 degrees.  An audible click while preforming this maneuver can indicate a torn medial meniscus.  To examine the lateral meniscus the examiner will return the knee to full flexion and apply a medial rotation to the tibia prior to extending the knee once again.

15 Feb 2007

Rank #10