Video – Helfet’s Test

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Helfet’s Test

The Helfet’s test is used to assess the ‘screw home’ mechanism of the tibiofemoral joint.  With the patient in the seated position with their legs hanging free over the edge of the table, locate the centre of the patella and the tibial tuberosity and mark these points with a flesh pencil. Ask the patient to extend their knee. Throughout extension, observe the position of the two points and note their final location at full extension. Normally the tibial tuberosity will move laterally demonstrating the external rotation of the tibia.

Failure to do this, or the lack of a smooth transition, suggests:

  • Ligamentous instability
  • Meniscal damage
  • Or muscular imbalance

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