Testing for sports injuries

Many doctors will use specific tests to identify and diagnose a sports injury; some common examples of tests are listed below:

Knee injuries

Cartilage tears

Doctors will apply pressure to the knee to identify any tenderness above or surrounding the damaged cartilage; they may also flex the knee when the patient is lying flat and listen out for a clicking or popping noise when the knee bends (this is also known as McMurray’s test). Ege’s test may also be carried out; this involves the patient squatting; a popping or clicking noise may be heard when the knee bends.

Ligament damage

There are several different tests used for detecting a ligament tear or strain (these include the Lachman test, the anterior draw test and the dial test); most are used to identify cruciate ligament damage. Most tests involve applying pressure to the knee joint, moving the knee and bending the knee; the nature of the injury can usually be determined by the movement or positioning of other parts of the leg and the extent and location of pain.

Shoulder injuries

Rotator cuff injuries are the most common cause of shoulder pain and can usually be identified by observing and feeling the shoulder joint during a number of different movements. Often a doctor will feel the area in order to identify any swelling or anatomical abnormalities. Injuries usually inhibit movement so a limited range of movements or pain resulting from specific movements can often be used to diagnose a specific type of injury. Strength tests may also be used to identify weakness in the joint.

Diagnostic testing

Diagnostic testing includes methods which help doctors to identify specific injuries; common examples of these tests include x-rays, CT scans, ultrasound and MRI scans.

Sports Injury Testing and Diagnosing Guide Index:

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