Lateral Step Down Test

Original Editor - Lucinda hampton

Top Contributors - Lucinda hampton and Kim Jackson  

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Patellofemoral OA.png

The lateral step-down test is a modification of standard step-down test in which the movement a lateral one versus anterior. It can be performed to assess hip and leg strength and endurance. eg in Anterior Knee Pain examination

Performing the Test[edit | edit source]

Instructions for the lateral step down test are as follows.

  1. Patient is to stand with involved leg on a 15 cm step. This will require most to bend the knee at about 60 degrees.
  2. Patients are asked to reach down and touch the opposite, non-involved heel to the ground, then return to the starting position.

Patient should be rated on the criterion listed in Table 1[1].

Scoring the Test[edit | edit source]

The test is scored according to 5 criteria:

Criteria Interpretation Score
Arm Strategy Subject used his arms in an attempt to recover balance +1
Trunk Strategy Trunk leaned to one side +1
Pelvic Plane Pelvis rotated or elevated +1
Knee Position Knee deviated medially and the tibial tuberosity is medial to second toes

Knee deviated medially and the tibial tuberosity is medial to medial boarder of foot



Steady Stance Subject stepped down on the non-tested side or became unsteady +1
  • Total score of 0 or 1 was classified as good quality of movement
  • Total score of 2 or 3 was classified as medium quality
  • Total score of 4 or above was classified as poor quality of movement[2][3]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Manske RC, Davies GJ. Examination of the patellofemoral joint. International journal of sports physical therapy. 2016 Dec;11(6):831. Available: 12.1.2022)
  2. Whiler L, Fong M, Kim S, Ly A, Qin Y, Yeung E, Mathur S. Gluteus medius and minimus muscle structure, strength, and function in healthy adults: brief report. Physiotherapy Canada. 2017;69(3):212-6.
  3. Piva SR, Fitzgerald K, Irrgang JJ, Jones S, Hando BR, Browder DA, Childs JD. Reliability of measures of impairments associated with patellofemoral pain syndrome. BMC musculoskeletal disorders. 2006 Dec 1;7(1):33.