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Physical Examination of Knee Ligament Injuries

Bronstein, Robert D. MD; Schaffer, Joseph C. MD

JAAOS - Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: April 2017 - Volume 25 - Issue 4 - p 280–287
doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-15-00463
Review Article

The knee is one of the most commonly injured joints in the body. A thorough history and physical examination of the knee facilitates accurate diagnosis of ligament injury. Several examination techniques for the knee ligaments that were developed before advanced imaging remain as accurate or more accurate than these newer imaging modalities. Proper use of these examination techniques requires an understanding of the anatomy and pathophysiology of knee ligament injuries. Advanced imaging can be used to augment a history and examination when necessary, but should not replace a thorough history and physical examination.

From the Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopaedics, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY.

Neither of the following authors nor any immediate family member has received anything of value from or has stock or stock options held in a commercial company or institution related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article: Dr. Bronstein and Dr. Schaffer.

The video that accompanies this article is online at

Received September 29, 2015

Accepted May 12, 2016

© 2017 by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
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