Anterior drawer test

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The anterior drawer test for anterior cruciate ligament laxity is one of many medical tests used to determine the integrity of the anterior cruciate ligament.[1] It can be used to help diagnose sprain and tears.

The test is performed as followed the patient is position lying supine with the hip flexed to 45 and the knee to 90. The examiner positions themselves by sitting on the examination table in front of the involved knee and grasping the tibia just below the joint line of the knee. The thumbs are placed along the joint line on either side of the patellar tendon. The index fingers are used to palpate the hamstring tendons to ensure that they are relaxed; the hamstring muscle group must be relaxed to ensure a proper test. The tibia is then drawn forward anteriorly. An increased amount of anterior tibial translation compared with the opposite limb or lack of a firm end-point indicates either a sprain of the anteromedial bundle of the ACL or a complete tear of the ACL. This test should be performed along with other ACL special test to help obtain a proper diagnosis.


  1. “Anterior Drawer Test – Wheeless’ Textbook of Orthopaedics”.


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