Anterior Drawer test is a clinical assessment of the knee to determine if there is an anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) injury.


  1. Patient supine with knee bent 90°
  2. Examiner stabilizes foot with hip and places thumbs over the anterior knee joint line and pulls the tibia anteriorly.
Anterior Drawer orthopaedic knee Test

Examiner stabilizes foot and pulls the tibia anteriorly.


Evidence of pain means a possibility of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprain. Observations of excessive motion may indicate anterior cruciate ligament rupture.

Positive Anterior Drawer Test

  1. Pain: Anterior cruciate ligament sprain
  2. Excessive motion: Anterior cruciate ligament rupture

Clinical notes

Degrees of knee joint instability

Grade Description
I mild, < 5 mm of translation
II moderate, 5-10 mm of translation
III Severe, > 10 mm translation