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Valgus Stress Test Knee

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Other Names

Valgus Stress Test
The application of a valgus load to the knee in extension (A) will open the medial side of the joint (B).[1]
  • Valgus Stress Test Knee



  • Patient is supine
  • Leg is relaxed, flexed to about 30° passively so that the knee is "unlocked"
  • Examiner palpates medial joint line, applies valgus force to the patients knee
  • The exam should be repeated 0° or in full extension as well
  • Positive test
    • Laxity or pain with valgus stress
    • Laxity at 30°: Isolated MCL injury
    • Laxity at 0°: suggests multiligament knee injury
  • Grade
    • Grade 1: pain without laxity
    • Grade 2: pain, laxity compared to contralateral limb
    • Grade 3: pain, gross laxity



MCL Injury

  • At 30°:
    • Sensitivity: 86 - 96%[2]

See Also


  1. Encinas-Ullán, Carlos A., and E. Carlos Rodríguez-Merchán. "Isolated medial collateral ligament tears: an update on management." EFORT open reviews 3.7 (2018): 398.
  2. Harilainen A. Evaluation of Knee Instability in Acute Ligamentous Injuries. Ann Chir Gynaecol. 1987; 76: 269-273.
Created by:
John Kiel on 4 September 2019 17:52:07
Last edited:
11 December 2023 20:38:46