Directional preference at the knee: a case report using mechanical diagnosis and therapy

J Man Manip Ther. 2013 Feb;21(1):60-6. doi: 10.1179/2042618612Y.0000000019.


Knee pain is common amongst the sporting and general population. Numerous examination procedures are used to apply diagnostic labels to knee symptoms, such as McMurray's test, which is used to diagnose a meniscal injury. However, previously in the literature the validity compared with a 'gold standard' and the reliability between examiners of such tests has been questioned. In this case study, we report on a sports woman, diagnosed by her general practitioner with a meniscal injury and demonstrating a positive McMurry's test, who was examined using repeated movements as in the McKenzie system of mechanical diagnosis and therapy. Following self-application of extension exercises and extension exercises with over-pressure the McMurry's test became negative, and she returned to full sporting activities. The case study indicates a further caution about the use of single orthopaedic test procedures. Not only is their validity and reliability questionable, but also following treatment using repeated movements if positive tests can be made negative, this provides an additional query to their validity.

Keywords: Knee; McMurry’s test; Mechanical diagnosis and therapy; Validity.

Publication types

  • Case Reports