Physical and arthroscopic examination techniques of the patellofemoral joint

Carl W. Nissen, Mark C. Cullen, Timothy E. Hewett, Frank R. Noyes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


A systematic approach to the clinical history, physical, and arthroscopic examination of patellofemoral disorders will lead to improved diagnostic accuracy and clinical treatment success. We review important aspects of physical and arthroscopic examination of patellofemoral disorders. Basic and advanced physical examination techniques are presented, and their clinical significance is reviewed. Arthroscopic examination of the patellofemoral joint is used as an adjunct to physical examination to evaluate chondral lesions of the patella and femoral sulcus and to visualize patellar tracking. Techniques to assess patellar tracking and the integrity of patellar restraints and to grade chondral lesions are outlined. Utilization of these techniques will improve clinical studies on the treatment of patellofemoral disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-285
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1998


  • Extensor mechanism
  • Knee pain
  • Malalignment
  • Physical examination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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