The patient is supine with one leg extended and the other flexed at the knee.
The lateral malleolus of the flexed leg lies across the other leg superior to the patella.
The test may also be performed so that the foot of the flexed leg is in contact with the medial aspect of the knee of the contralateral leg.
The flexed leg is then allowed to fall into abduction, and from this position the examiner increases the external rotation by increasingly pressing the patient’s knee down toward the examining table with one hand.
The examiner must immobilize the pelvis on the extended contralateral side to prevent it from moving during the test.
What does a positive Patrick Test mean?
Normally the knee of the abducted leg will almost touch the examining table. Comparative measurements of the distance between the knee and the table on both sides are made.
A difference in mobility with painfully restricted motion in hyperabduction suggests the absence of a hip disorder; observation of normal adductors suggests dysfunction in the ipsilateral sacroiliac joint.
Hip disorders are excluded by testing range of motion in the hip (especially rotation) and palpating the hip capsule deep in the groin.
Patrick Test (FABER sign) is positive in these situations:
A systematic review 1 of the literature for Specificity, sensitivity, and predictive values of clinical tests of the sacroiliac joint, the sensitivity & specificity of Patrick test was as following:
Sensitivity: 69-77 %
Specificity: 100 %
Kent Jason Stuber: Specificity, sensitivity, and predictive values of clinical tests of the sacroiliac joint: a systematic review of the literature. J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2007 Mar; 51(1): 30–41. PMID: 17657289.
Campbel’s Operative Orthopaedics 13th Edition Book
Clinical Tests for the Musculoskeletal System 3rd Edition Book.
Dutton’s Orthopaedic Examination, Evaluation, And Intervention 3rd Edition Book.