Apley Compression/Distraction Test

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Apley Compression/Distraction Test

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Used to differentiate the cause of knee pain between ligamentous and meniscus causes​

Compression: ​

  • With the patient prone, flex the knee to 90 degrees, apply a moderate force to the knee into the table and internally and externally rotate​
  • If positive (pain produced) then there is either a ligamentous OR a meniscal cause 


  • Hold the thigh by placing the examiner’s knee on the posterior upper leg proximal to the popliteal fossa, apply a moderate traction on the distal lower limb and externally and internally rotate​
  • If positive (pain produced) there is a LIGAMENTOUS cause for the pain, ruling out the meniscus as the pain generator 
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