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Joint Effusion

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    (English captions by Trisha Paul from the University of Michigan)
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    With the patient supine, the leg can be fully extended to assess better for
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    joint effusion.
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    Compress the suprapatellar pouch, pushing
    the contents distally, and assess for
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    increased fluid.
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    Patellar ballottement can also be performed by
    compressing the patella and releasing
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    quickly. Observe for rapid rebound, which
    also indicates increased fluid pressure.
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    If a quicker tap is felt, a larger fusion is present, also called the ballottable
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Joint Effusion

View the complete knee examination learning module at

Any medical information in this material is intended to inform and educate and is not a tool for self-diagnosis or a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional. Please speak to your physician if you have questions about your medical condition.

CC: BY-NC University of Michigan Family Medicine Residency Program. This material is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial 3.0 License

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Amara Bot edited English subtitles for Joint Effusion
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English subtitles