Sweep Test

The Sweep test effectively identifies excess fluid or swelling in the knee joint, particularly in the supra patellar bursa. This test uses simple movements to check for potential joint effusion, focusing on detecting and evaluating the amount of fluid causing swelling within the knee.


How to perform the Sweep test?

Start the test by positioning the patient for easy access to the knee. Use your hands to push the fluid out of the knee area by sweeping upwards two or three times, moving the fluid from the swollen area. Then, sweep downwards on the outside of the thigh toward the knee.

This action pushes any fluid you moved upwards back toward the knee, into the inner pocket. Finally, watch for any fluid reappearing in the pocket on the inside of the knee.

What is a positive Sweep test?

A positive Sweep test is indicated by the appearance of fluid in the inner pocket of the knee. This confirms the presence of excess fluid, suggesting joint effusion.

sweep test


When conducting the test, it’s important to ensure that the patient is correctly positioned to facilitate accurate testing. Proper execution of the technique is crucial to avoid false results. Additionally, keep the patient’s comfort in mind, as manipulating the swollen area can cause discomfort.

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