Knee Assessment

Patellar Tendon Palpation | Patellar Tendinopathy Assessment

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Patellar Tendon Palpation

Patellar Tendon Palpation | Patellar Tendinopathy Assessment

Patellar Tendinopathy is one entity of anterior knee pain syndromes and is a frequently encountered clinical picture in those who do jumping sports such as volleyball, basketball, or track, and field running. Cook et al (2001) evaluated the validity of tendon palpation in the diagnosis of the condition and reported a sensitivity of 68% and low specificity of 9% when comparing to visible tendinopathic lesions on Ultrasound.

Maffulli et al. (2017) evaluated the same test and found a sensitivity of 98% and a specificity of 94%. However the definition of a positive finding on Ultrasound was different and the setting for patient recruitment differed as well, so despite the high numbers the clinical value as a standalone test remains moderate

To conduct the test, the patient lies in supine and the patella tendon is palpated gently, at the attachment site of the patellar tendon, over the inferior pole of the patella, and along its whole length, from proximal to distal.

The patient is asked about tenderness on palpation, which indicates a positive test.

21 OF THE MOST USEFUL ORTHOPAEDIC TESTS IN CLINICAL PRACTICE

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Common orthopedic tests to assess for patellar tendinopathy are:

 

References

Cook, J. L., Khan, K. M., Kiss, Z. S., Purdam, C. R., & Griffiths, L. (2001). Reproducibility and clinical utility of tendon palpation to detect patellar tendinopathy in young basketball players. British journal of sports medicine, 35(1), 65-69.

Maffulli, N., Oliva, F., Loppini, M., Aicale, R., Spiezia, F., & King, J. B. (2017). The Royal London Hospital Test for the clinical diagnosis of patellar tendinopathy. Muscles, Ligaments and Tendons Journal, 7(2), 315.

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