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Merke Test

 Merke Test

What is the Merke Test?

The Merke Test that’s similar to Thessaly test is used to evaluate the lateral / medial meniscus tear of the knee joint.

See Also: Thessaly test

How do you perform the Merke Test?

This test is performed with the patient in a weightbearing position, where the patient bears weight on the affected leg with the knee slightly flexed.

The examiner immobilizes the foot of the affected leg.

The examiner lifts the patient’s contralateral leg slightly and asks the patient to internally and externally rotate the thigh of the affected leg.

The lower leg is rotated as in the Steinmann I sign.

See Also: Steinmann Test
Meniscus Merke test
Starting position for Merke Test

What is a positive Merke Test mean?

Because of the increased axial compression due to the weight of the body, the Merke test usually elicits more severe pain.

Internal rotation of the body produces an external rotation of the tibia, while external rotation of the body produces an internal rotation of the tibia.

Pain in the medial compartment during external rotation of the lower leg at the knee suggests a medial meniscal lesion, while pain in the lateral compartment during internal rotation of the lower leg at the knee suggests a lateral meniscal lesion.

The Merke test is occasionally positive in the presence of collateral ligament lesions.

See Also: Knee Meniscus Tear


  1. Rossi R, Dettoni F, Bruzzone M, Cottino U, D’Elicio DG, Bonasia DE. Clinical examination of the knee: know your tools for diagnosis of knee injuries. Sports Med Arthrosc Rehabil Ther Technol. 2011 Oct 28;3:25. doi: 10.1186/1758-2555-3-25. PMID: 22035381; PMCID: PMC3213012.
  2. Clinical Tests for the Musculoskeletal System 3rd Edition.

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