The Fluctuation test is also referred to as Patella Sweep test, Knee Effusion test or Stroke test. The test is used to assess joint effusion in the knee joint.


  1. Patient supine with leg straight
  2. Examiner places the webs of both hands 2cm above and 2cm below the patella
  3. Examiner then proceeds to alternately apply downward pressure with each hand (one hand pushes, the other hand relaxes).

Fluctuation test similar to sweep test for assessing knee swelling.


Positive Fluctuation Test

    Fluid level fluctuating under each hand when pressure is applied: Intra-articular knee swelling secondary to trauma (internal derangement, ligament sprain or rupture, vascular damage, fracture).