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Knee Exam
 
 

Patellar Bulge Test

 
 
 
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Overview

The patellar bulge test is used to assess for an effusion of the knee joint, by attempting to move the fluid to one side of the knee.
  • How to Perform

  • Extend the knee joint. Milk the fluid from the lateral side of the knee, to the suprapatellar pouch, into the medial side of the knee. Gently press onto the fluid-filled medial side of the knee.
  • Abnormal If

  • The fullness migrates to the lateral side of the knee when the medial side is pressed.
  • Causes of Knee Effusion

  • Trauma - ligament tear, menisceal tear, intra-articular fracture, patellar dislocation
  • Arthritis - osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, IBD-related arthritis, gout, pseudogout
  • Infection - septic arthritis, tuberculosis, Lyme disease, syphilis
  • Blood - haemarthrosis
  • Malignancy - osteosarcoma
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