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Patella apprehension test

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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The patellar apprehension test reveals recurrent dislocation of the patella where the patient shows apprehension because he or she knows that the movement, which simulates that of dislocation, is going to be painful. (1)

The knee is extended and the patella is pushed laterally. To reproduce the mechanics of dislocation, the knee is then slowly flexed. In recurrent dislocation of the patella, even slight movement can induce resistance and anxiety to further movement.

The apprehension can manifest in a variety of manners, from tension in the muscles to a shout of alarm.


1. Lastoria D. et al. Is the patella apprehension test a valid diagnostic test for patellar instability? A systematic review. J Orthop. 2023 Aug; 42: 54–62.

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