Detection of large knee effusions.

Performing the Test

  1. Patient supine, compress the suprapatellar pouch against femur by placing left hand 15 cm proximal to patella (thumb and index finger on either side of patella), applying pressure and sliding hand towards the patella, maintaining the pressure
  2. With other hand hand, palpate just below the patella on either side, feeling for fluid shifting
  3. Remove hand from suprapatellar pouch and press patella into femur with the other hand
  4. Positive: visualizing and palpating fluid returning to suprapatellar pouch


  1. Bickley L. Bate’s Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking. 10th ed. New York: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009.