McMurray Test (Knee) – Physical Exam

The McMurray Test is a commonly used in orthopedic examinations to assess for damage or tears to the the lateral or medial meniscus of the knee.


The test is performed with the patient in a relaxed supine position. The knee to be tested should be fully flexed. The examiner holds the sole of the foot with one hand and palpates the medial or lateral aspect of the tibio-fibular joint. This test is used to determine damage to either the lateral or medial meniscus. The examiner palpates the side of the joint being tested. When testing the medial meniscus the tibia starts the maneuver in internal rotation. When testing the lateral meniscus the tibia starts the maneuver in external rotation.

Test Movement

To test the medial meniscus, the examiner palpates the postero-medial aspect of the knee while extending the knee and externally rotating the tibia. A valgus stress is also applied. To test the lateral meniscus, the examiner palpates the postero-lateral joint line while extending the knee and internally rotating the tibia. A varus stress is also applied.

Positive Test

If pain is felt by the subject or if a ‘click’ is felt by the subject or examiner, the test is considered positive.

Accuracy of Test

Studies of specificity and sensitivity have demonstrated varied values as a result of poor methodological quality. A recent meta-analysis reports sensitivity and specificity to be 70% and 71%. The test has therefore often been reported to be of limited value in current clinical practice.  However if positive findings are grouped with positive findings from other tests, such as joint line tenderness and Apley’s test, the test may be more valid.

Another test to assess for meniscus damage is Apley’s Test


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Kai demonstrates the McMurray Test for meniscus damage! Check out the Apley’s and Thessaly Test at the end of this video or by clicking the “i” in the top right corner!


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