How Ege's Test Works to Detect a Meniscus Tear

Modified or Weight-Bearing McMurray's Test

Ege's test is a specific maneuver to detect a meniscus tear. It mimics the mechanism that most often results in symptoms related to meniscus tears. In this test, the patient applies force to their knee through a squatting movement and 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, which is known to detect meniscus symptoms. This test was developed by Dr. Ridvan Ege in 1968. When a meniscus tear is suspected, this is a test that might be used to help decide whether a meniscus tear might need surgery.

knee examination
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How Ege's Test Is Performed

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

To test for a suspected medial meniscus tear, 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 an audible and/or palpable click or pain in the area of the meniscus.

To test for a lateral meniscus tear, you'll be asked to turn your toes inward to maximum internal rotation of the knee, then squat and slowly stand up.

Usually, pain or a click will be felt when the knee is flexed at about 90 degrees. You can use support if needed, since often even people without meniscus tears can't do the squats requested without support. A positive test or a click or pain points towards the presence of a symptomatic meniscus tear.

Other Tests That Can Detect a Meniscus Tear

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

  • McMurray's Test: McMurray's test is performed with the patient lying down (non-weight bearing) and the examiner bends the knee while rotating it. The click is felt over the meniscus tear as the knee is brought from full flexion to 90 degrees of flexion. The patient may also experience pain along with the click.
  • Joint Line Tenderness: Joint line tenderness is a very non-specific test for a meniscus tear. The area of the meniscus is felt, and a positive test is confirmed when 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, but the authors found that the combination of tests can help with diagnosing a meniscus tear. An MRI can be helpful in determining the presence and extent of a meniscus tear.

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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  2. Gupta Y, Mahara D, Lamichhane A. McMurray's Test and Joint Line Tenderness for Medial Meniscus Tear: Are They Accurate?. Ethiop J Health Sci. 2016;26(6):567-572. doi:10.4314/ejhs.v26i6.10

  3. Bhan K. Meniscal tears: current understanding, diagnosis, and management. Cureus. 2020;12(6). doi:10.7759%2Fcureus.8590

  4. Cleveland Clinic. When Is Knee Surgery for a Meniscus Tear Your Best Option? Published July 13, 2021.

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