Knee Examination

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The purpose of this unit is to have a web-based, readily-accessible teaching tool for learners to gain knowledge and improve musculoskeletal exam of the knee.

This module is also for U-M Department of Family Medicine Residents on the SMO1 rotation.

Components of the unit include: 
  • A video showing the complete knee exam
  • Lists of common causes of knee pain
  • A brief synopsis for each diagnosis of knee pain
  • A quick reference guide to specific exam maneuvers
  • Photos and drawings to assist with visualization of knee anatomy
  • Review of documentation of a knee exam
  • Links to further references


  • To understand the basic elements of musculoskeletal examinations of the knee.
  • To understand differential diagnosis of common clinical presentations of knee problems.
  • To know how to differentiate between normal and abnormal assessment findings.

  • To demonstrate familiarity with the tasks needed to perform a complete knee exam.
  • To be able to generate a differential diagnosis of problems based on knee exam and history.


  • To express confidence in evaluating for musculoskeletal knee complaints.

Disclaimer: The University of Michigan Health System Web site does not provide specific medical advice and does not endorse any medical or professional service obtained through information provided on this site or any links to this site.

Use of the UMHS web site does not replace medical consultation with a qualified health or medical professional to meet the health and medical needs of you or others.

While the content of the UMHS web site is frequently updated, medical information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors.

Note: This module was originally developed by U-M Department of Family Medicine faculty member Tara A. Master-Hunter, M.D., in 2007. It is also maintained by Dr. Master-Hunter. Last updated: May 2013.

Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a 
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License. Details and Exceptions. © 2013 University of Michigan Department of Family Medicine.

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