The posterior drawer test assesses the integrity of the posterior cruciate ligament.

Page updated January 2024 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

anterior drawer test for acl insufficency
This is actually showing the anterior drawer, but the posterior drawer test is very similar, where the examiner attempts to assess any laxity when the tibia is pushed backwards in relation to the femur.


Accuracy of the posterior drawer test

It is not a very accurate assessment, and it is better to augment it with stress X-rays.

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Forum discussions

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Peer-reviewed papers

  • Quote:

    "...this test is useful in identifying those patients who have completed a rehabilitation protocol and have full quadriceps strength, [but] who are unable to return to a high level of sports activity. These patients may require use of a brace, or PCL reconstruction."

    Citation: Feltham GT, Albright JP. The diagnosis of PCL injury: literature review and introduction of two novel tests. Iowa Orthop J. 2001;21:36-42. PMID: 11813949; PMCID: PMC1888203.

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Dr Sheila Strover (Editor)
BSc (Hons), MB BCh, MBA

See biography...