Anterior Drawer Tests

Utilize this Anterior Drawer Test template to determine if your patient has a sprained or torn ACL. Click here for a copy and a guide on how to use it!

By Patricia Buenaventura on Jun 20, 2024.

Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

Use Template
Anterior Drawer Tests PDF Example
toolsShare uiAI icon

What is an Anterior Drawer Test?

An assesses if the patient’s anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is sprained or torn. Generally, this test doesn’t come with a template. However, we’ve decided to create a downloadable, editable, and printable version you can keep in the patient’s medical records.

Our template comes with the following:

  • Instructions on how to conduct the test
  • A diagram you can use as a visual guide
  • A table where you can input the test results
  • The levels of a sprain as well as a translation amount to help you with interpretation
  • Space where you can add additional information

Given that this test doesn’t require any additional equipment aside from a comfortable flat surface the patient can lie down on, anyone who experiences pain after doing the following can have the test conducted on them:

  • Stops or changes direction of their body suddenly
  • Land a jump wrongly
  • Take a hit in the knee

Most of the time, the people more likely to tear their ACL are athletes, dancers, or those participating in extreme activities.

One important thing to note about this test is that medical practitioners may not use this test as the sole basis or resource to make a diagnosis. It must be followed up by further tests.

Printable Anterior Drawer Test

Download Anterior Drawer Test to determine if your patient has a sprained or torn ACL

How does this Drawer Test work?

Step One. Access the Template

To access and download the template, you may do either of the following: 

  • Download the template by clicking the “Use Template” or “Download Template” button
  • Search for the “Anterior Drawer Test” in Carepatron’s template library on the website or app. 

Step Two. Conduct the Test

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to conduct the drawer test:

  1. Lie the patient on their back in a relaxed supine position.
  2. Test the uninjured side first.
  3. Flex their hip to 45 degrees.
  4. Then flex their knee 90 degrees.
  5. Ensure that their foot is flat on the surface. Sit on their foot to keep it still. 
  6. Grasp the bent knee with your thumbs in front of the knee (on the superior anterior of the tibia) and tuck your fingers behind the knee (inside the flexed part). You may use the diagram above as a guide.
  7. Gently pull the tibia forward and check how far it moves. 
  8. Repeat steps 3 to 7 on the injured side and compare. 

If you’re struggling to remember the steps to this test, don’t worry, as stated above, we’ve included the same set of instructions with an accompanying diagram right on the template. 

Step Three. Write Down the Results and Interpret

Aside from instructions, we’ve also included a table complete with sprain levels and their corresponding translation amount to make interpretation easier. You simply have to tick the checkbox beside the translation you observed during your test. 

Should you have any additional notes, we’ve also provided space at the bottom of the test results table where you can write other observations or comments that you believe future you or fellow practitioners will benefit from knowing. 


Scoring is as easy as ticking the checkbox on the row that matches the sprain level and translation amount you noticed during the test. So you know what to expect on the template, here’s the main content of the results table. 

  • Grade 0 (Normal) = 0-2 mm anterior tibial translation amount
  • Grade 1 (Almost Normal) = 3-5 mm anterior tibial translation amount
  • Grade 2 (Abnormal) = 6-9 mm anterior tibial translation amount
  • Grade 3 (Severely Abnormal) = More than 10 mm

If the client gets a grade of 2 or 3, it means that the patient’s drawer test is positive which means that the integrity of their ACL is compromised.

Anterior Drawer example (sample)

We’ve created a sample of a filled-out Anterior Drawer Test template to help you picture how it can benefit you. Do note that the patient in this example is fictitious. 

View the sample below, and feel free to download an easily accessible offline copy for future purposes by clicking the sample or the “Download Example PDF” button. 

Download this Anterior Drawer Test Example (Sample) here:

Anterior Drawer example (sample)

When to use these Anterior Drawer assessments?

Any practitioner who believes their patient must have injured themselves because of the following situations mentioned in the first section of this guide may use these Anterior Drawer assessment templates to conduct the test. If one were to be more specific, a test must be performed with the help of the templates as soon as possible if:

  • The patient hears a loud popping sound after landing wrongly or twisting too fast
  • The patient’s knees are buckling often
  • The area where the ACL is located swelled within 24 hours after the injury
  • The patient has expressed that they are feeling pain in that area

In addition to what has been stated above, one can use the Anterior Drawer Assessment for an overall knee assessment. They may add this test to other tests that also check the integrity of the ACL, such as the Lachman test, Mcmurray test, Pivot Shift test, physical exams, and other imaging tests like an MRI. 

Who is this Anterior Drawer Test PDF for?

Medical practitioners who are most likely to download a PDF copy of the Anterior Drawer Test to conduct on their patients are the following:

  • Doctors
  • Physical Therapists
  • Sports Therapists
  • Orthopedic Doctors
Physical Therapy Software Feedback

Benefits of these free Anterior Drawer Test Templates

Easy to Administer

With the test having only a few instructions and not needing any additional equipment, as long as you have our template and read it beforehand, you can easily administer the test. 

Quick Assessment Tool

The Anterior Drawer Test is short and only requires you to do a few compound actions twice within a maximum of 20 minutes. It’s one of the best and quickest tests you can use to assess the state of your patient’s ACL. 

Fast and Reliable Results

According to research, this test is reliable enough to at least make a clinical impression. Moreover, if a patient is in pain and must go through several tests to get a diagnosis, it’s beneficial if the practitioner in charge gets accurate results as soon as possible for early diagnosis and intervention.

Written Copies of Test Results for Reference

Usually, this test is done by a specific practitioner, and its results are only remembered by the person who conducted it. To make it easier for you and your fellow practitioners who need the results, you utilize this template and add the filled-up form to the client’s folder of medical records. That way, whoever needs information can easily find and reference them if needed. 

Fully Digital

Since our template is fully digital, one can not only do the test anytime, anywhere but can also store it on our secure EHR so related parties may access it easily and quickly. 

Why use this Anterior Drawer app?

Beyond being a guide and template source for the Anterior Drawer Test, Carepatron helps you automate administrative tasks and streamline business/clinical processes. That way, you can dedicate most of your time and effort toward patient care. 

Interested in giving Carepatron a try? Before you sign up, allow us to give you a lowdown on the leading software management platform in the healthcare industry today. 

Available as an application you can use on your desktop and iOs or Android phone, Carepatron offers a variety of features and resources available to you for free when you set up an account. Some of them are access to:

  • Over 100 editable, downloadable, and printable templates in PDF form of surveys, tests, assessments, and more
  • A HIPAA-compliant and secure EHR system for all your digital notes and your clients’ additional medical documents
  • Multiple scheduling and telehealth software applications that are integrated right into your dashboard
  • An automated payment system you can set up for your client

All these and more, only on Carepatron. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make your responsibilities beyond medical practice easy and effortless today!

Physical Therapy Software


Hurley, Wendy & Denegar, Craig & Buckley, William. (2008). The Relationship between Grading and Instrumented Measurements of Anterior Knee Joint Laxity. Journal of sport rehabilitation. 17. 60-7. 10.1123/jsr.17.1.60.

What does a positive anterior drawer test implicate?
What does a positive anterior drawer test implicate?

Commonly asked questions

What does a positive anterior drawer test implicate?

It means that their ACL’s integrity is compromised and may be sprained or torn.

How to score the Anterior Drawer Test?

Scoring is as easy as ticking the checkbox with the description that matches your observed translational amount. For more information on scoring the Anterior Drawer test, you may refer to the “Scoring” section above.

What are the benefits of the Anterior Drawer Test?

A few of the benefits are that it’s reliable, it doesn’t require much equipment and one can obtain results within a few minutes. Feel free to head to the “Benefits of these free Anterior Drawer Test Templates” section for more benefits of using this test and its template.

Join 10,000+ teams using Carepatron to be more productive

One app for all your healthcare work