For an introduction to Special Tests including definitions of specific terminology, what special tests measure, how we chose the tests in these lessons, and best use, check out:
Special Tests Covered in this Lesson:
- Meniscus Tear Tests
- Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) Test-item Cluster
- Red Flags (Fracture)
Composite Exams and "Best Practices":
The combination of patient history, physical examination, special tests and radiographs has been investigated for the diagnosis of meniscus tear; however, study results are mixed (1, 4 - 21). Generally, the accuracy of special tests and/or examination for diagnosis of meniscus tear is questionable. A diagnosis of meniscal lesion without the confirmation of arthroscopy should likely be viewed with healthy skepticism.
Although tests for patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) have relatively high specificity, the diagnosis of PFPS is relatively broad (41-45). These tests may best be used to identify an assessment that replicates the concordant sign for quick re-assessment. That is, find