Anterior Drawer Test of the ankle

 Anterior Drawer Test of the ankle

What is Anterior Drawer Test of the ankle?

Anterior Drawer Test of the ankle is performed to estimate the stability of the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL).

See Also: Ankle and Foot Anatomy

How do you perform an Anterior Drawer Test of the Ankle?

What does a positive Anterior Drawer Test of the ankle mean?

Sensitivity & Specificity

A Prospective, blinded, diagnostic-accuracy study 1 by Theodore Croy to investigate the accuracy of the anterior drawer test of the ankle in patients with lateral ankle sprain, he found that the ankle anterior drawer test provides limited ability to detect excessive anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) injury, the sensitivity and specificity was as following:

However, it may provide useful information when used in side-to-side ankle comparisons and in conjunction with other physical exam procedures, such as palpation.

The ATFL can be palpated two to three finger-breadths anteroinferior to the lateral malleolus. This is usually the area of most extreme tenderness following an inversion sprain. The anterior aspect of the distal tibiofibular syndesmosis may also be tender following this type of sprain.


Related Anatomy

Anterior Talofibular Ligament:


  1. Croy T, Koppenhaver S, Saliba S, Hertel J. Anterior talocrural joint laxity: diagnostic accuracy of the anterior drawer test of the ankle. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2013 Dec;43(12):911-9. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2013.4679. Epub 2013 Oct 30. PMID: 24175608.
  2. Clinical Tests for the Musculoskeletal System 3rd Edition.
  3. Dutton’s Orthopaedic Examination, Evaluation, And Intervention 3rd Edition.

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