How Ege's Test Works to Detect a Meniscus Tear

Modified or Weight-Bearing McMurray's Test

If your knee is painful or difficult to move, your healthcare provider may check for a meniscus tear using the Ege's test. The test mimics the joint movements that most often cause symptoms related to meniscus tears in the knee.

This article discusses what the Ege's test is, what it does, and how it compares to other tests.

knee examination
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What Is Ege's Test?

Ege's test was developed by Dr. Ridvan Ege in 1968. When a meniscus tear is suspected, this test might be used to help decide whether the tear might need surgery.

In the Ege's test, the patient applies force to their knee through a squatting movement with the supervision of a healthcare provider. The examiner listens and feels for a click due to the torn piece of cartilage being caught between the bones.

It is also considered a modified or weight-bearing form of another test, the McMurray test. The McMurray test is also used to detect meniscus symptoms.

How Ege's Test Is Performed

In an Ege's test, you will stand with your knees straight and feet about a foot apart (30 to 40 centimeters).

To test for a suspected medial meniscus tear (on the inner side of the knee), you'll be asked to turn your toes outward, externally rotating the knee. You'll then squat and slowly stand back up. The person who examines your knee will be on the alert for a clicking sound or feeling. You may also feel pain in the area of the meniscus.

To test for a lateral meniscus tear (on the outer side of the knee), you'll be asked to turn your toes inward as far as your knees can rotate. You'll then squat and slowly stand up. A click or pain can indicate a meniscus tear.

Usually, pain or a click will be felt when the knee is flexed (bent) at about 90 degrees. When squatting, you can use support if needed. Often, even people without meniscus tears can't do the squats requested without support.

Recap

In the Ege's test, you'll stand with your feet about a foot apart. You'll squat and slowly stand up. A pain or click may indicate a meniscus tear.

Other Tests to Detect a Meniscus Tear

The patient is examined lying down with these two common tests:

  • McMurray's test: This non-weight bearing test is performed with the patient lying down. The examiner bends the knee while rotating it. The click is felt over the meniscus tear as the knee is brought from full flexion (fully bent) to 90 degrees. The patient may also experience pain along with the click.
  • Joint line tenderness: This one is a very non-specific test for a meniscus tear. The healthcare provider will feel the area of the meniscus. A positive test is confirmed if there is pain in the area where the meniscus is found.

What Is the Best Test?

Studies have looked at all three tests for detecting a meniscus tear. No one test was significantly better than the others. In one review of studies, the authors found that a combination of the tests was most useful for diagnosing a meniscus tear. An MRI can also be helpful in determining the presence and extent of a meniscus tear.

Summary

Ege's test helps diagnose a meniscus tear in the knee. It involves putting weight on the knee in a squatting position under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Pain or a clicking noise may indicate a meniscus tear. Your doctor may use other tests as well, including an MRI to confirm a diagnosis.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does a meniscus tear feel like?

    Pain and swelling are the most common symptoms. You may also feel like your knee joint suddenly locks or that you’re unable to fully extend the knee. Sometimes the knee may suddenly give away and not be able to support your weight.

  • When do you need surgery for a meniscus tear?

    If at-home RICE treatments and physical therapy don’t help it heal on its own, you may want to consider surgery to repair your meniscus. People over 40 are more likely to need surgery. However, older adults should weigh surgical risks before deciding on a repair.

  • Do you need an MRI to tell if you have a meniscus tear?

    Yes, an MRI is used to confirm a diagnosis. In-office tests and exams can show clear signs of whether your meniscus is torn and where the tear is, but before recommending treatment, your doctor will order an MRI, which provides much greater accuracy.

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4 Sources
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