A positive Dreyer’s Sign indicates a fracture of the patella.

Procedure

  1. Patient supine with leg straight is unable to raise the leg
  2. Examiner applies a compressive force to the thigh just above the patella (helping to stabilize the quadriceps) and asks the patient to attempt to raise the leg again.
Dreyer Sign indicates a fracture of the patella.

Examiner applies a compressive force to the thigh just above the patella (helping to stabilize the quadriceps) and asks the patient to attempt to raise the leg.

Interpretation

Positive Dreyer’s Sign

If patient is able to raise the leg if the quadriceps are stabilized, once the stabilization force is removed the patient is unable to raise the leg then there is a possibility of a fracture of the patella.

Clinical Notes

Remember that the quadriceps insertion on to the tibial tuberosity encompasses the patella, complete rupture of the quadriceps tendon can occur in the presence of a patellar fracture.