During a knee examination there are several tests done while the patient is in the supine position:
- Signs of trauma/previous surgery
- Swelling (edema — particular in the medial fossa (the depression medial to the patella)
- erythema (redness)
- Muscle bulk and symmetry (in particular atrophy of the medial aspect of the quadriceps muscle — vastus medialis)
- Displacement of the patella (knee cap)
The supine position is also used for other examinations including an internal autopsy, palpitation and auscultation of the abdominal organs, and cardiovascular assessment.