MedSchool: Ace Your OSCEsThe Medical Company
GET - On the App Store

Patellar Bulge Test



  • 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
Want more info like this?
  • Your electronic clinical medicine handbook
  • Guides to help pass your exams
  • Tools every medical student needs
  • Quick diagrams to have the answers, fast
  • Quizzes to test your knowledge
Sign Up Now