Tests & Screenings

Obtaining the most accurate diagnosis for your hip condition is one of the first steps in proper treatment. Los Alamitos Medical Center offers a wide range of tests and screenings. Common diagnostic tests and screenings that we may use are:

Anterior and posterior drawer test

A physician requests an anterior drawer test to assess the strength of the ACL, while the posterior drawer test is used for the PCL. On both tests, the patient lies flat on the back as the examiner bends the knee 90 degrees. Pulling the shin forward checks the stability of the ACL. Pulling the shin backward checks the stability of the PCL.

Collateral ligament stability

A physician uses this to detect problems of the collateral ligaments: MCL and LCL. With the patient lying flat on the back with the knee slightly bent, the examiner shifts the shin side to side. If the knee opens up excessively, there may be damage to the LCL or MCL.

Lachman test

A typical test for ACL tears, the Lachman test is performed by an examiner with the patient lying flat on the back. The examiner bends the knee 20 degrees, pulling the shin forward while stabilizing the thigh. A knee with an injured ACL often demonstrate a less firm endpoint and more movement.

Limited motion

For physicians, testing knee mobility is a key factor in measuring knee health. If arthritis, bone spurs or swelling are present, the range of motion of the knee typically becomes limited.

McMurray’s test

The McMurray’s test is performed by an examiner with the patient lying flat on the back and the examiner bending the knee. A click is felt over the meniscus tear as the knee is brought from full flexion to full extension.

Patella apprehension

Physicians use this assessment to determine if the kneecap is unstable. The examiner puts pressure on the kneecap. If the patient feels as if the kneecap is going to pop out of its groove, the kneecap may be unstable

Patella grind

During this test, the patient lies flat with the leg extended. The examiner pushes down on the kneecap as the patient flexes the thigh muscles. If the patient experiences a grinding sensation, damaged cartilage may be present.

Patella tenderness

In this test used to find cartilage damage, the examiner lifts the kneecap slightly, placing direct pressure on the undersurface of the kneecap.

Let Los Alamitos connect you with a physician

Call (855) 840-3668 or use our Find A Physician tool to be connected to an orthopedic specialist who can help you. You can also read more about knee diseases and conditions in our Health Library.