Waldron’s Test

Orthopedic Exam / Special Tests for Physical Therapy: KNEE

Waldron’s Test:

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) or Runner’s Knee

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), often called runner’s knee, refers to pain under and around the knee cap. The pain of PFPS may occur in one or both knees, and it tends to worsen with activity, while descending stairs and after long periods of inactivity. Patellofemoral pain syndrome is often mistaken for chondromalacia, a condition which describes damage (typically softening) of the articular cartilage on the underside of the kneecap (patella).

Causes of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome/ Runner’s Knee:

While the exact cause of patellofemoral pain isn’t known, it’s believed that the way the patella tracks along the groove of the femur can lead to irritation of the cartilage on the underside of the patella. The patella can move up and down, side to side in the groove, as well as tilt and rotate. All this movement means that the patella can have contact with many of the articular surfaces of the knee depending upon a variety of factors such as muscle strength and balance, overuse, and incorrect tracking. It also means that the cause of the pain may be from a variety of different factors.

Special Test: Waldron’s Test


  • Testing for the Presence of patellofemoral syndrome/ runner’s knee.

Video Demo Instructions, Procedure, Positive Test:

Special Test: Waldron’s Test Video Demo (Procedure below)

Special Test: Waldron’s Test: PROCEDURE:

• Patient is standing.
• Therapist palpates the patella while the patient performs knee bends

Special Test: Waldron’s Test: POSITIVE SIGN:

  • Presence of pain, crepitus, poor patellar tracking.