Purpose: To determine the contribution of neural tension to the patient's symptoms.
Test Position: Prone.
Performing the Test: The examiner passively flexes the patient's knee to end range and maintains it there for 45 seconds. The hip should not be rotated. Pain in the anterior thigh may indicated a tight/strained quadriceps muscle or neural tension of the femoral nerve. Pain on the unilateral lumbar area, buttock, or posterior thigh may indicate lumbar radiculopathy of L2-L3 nerve roots.
Diagnostic Accuracy: Unknown.
Importance of Test: The position knee flexion puts a stretch on the femoral nerve and its nerve rootlets due to the nerve passing on the anterior side of the lower extremity. Should the femoral nerve become adherent to the tissues it passes by in the lower extremity, pain or other neural symptoms may be produced in that area. Since the test places the entire nerve and its rootlets on tension, the test may also indicate radicular pain or pain originating as a result of irritation to the spinal structures. While the test may indicate irritation of the nerve roots L2-L3 due to the innervation of the femoral nerve, it should not be used solely for diagnosis. Be sure to treat the source of the impairments the patient is undergoing as you normally would. The location of the pain/symptoms should aid in determining where the pathology is and how you should treat the patient.
Note: tests should only be performed by a properly trained health care practitioner.