Patellar Apprehension Test
The Patellar Apprehension Test is used primarily to diagnosis lateral patellar instability. A positive test can also obtained from patella tracking disorders as well as patellofemoral joint dysfunction.
- Patient supine with legs straight and quadriceps muscles relaxed
- Examiner gently and slowly pushes the patella laterally
- Examiner observes the patient for signs of verbal and nonverbal apprehension or reflex quadriceps contraction
Positive Patellar Apprehension Test
Apprehension or reflex quadriceps muscle contraction: Patellar instability, subluxation, tracking disorder, patellofemoral dysfunction
Synonym: Fairbank’s Test
Some clinicians suggest having the knee flexed 30 degrees during this maneuver; with the knee flexed, the patella is much more stable in the patellar groove of the femur (increasing of a false negative), testing with leg straight increases the clinically validity of the test.