Lachman Test (Knee) – Physical Exam

The Lachman Test is a commonly used in orthopedic examinations to test for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) integrity. This is one of the most well known and most used special. Another test that is commonly used to test for anterior cruciate ligament integrity is the Anterior Drawer Test.

Involved Structures

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)

Starting Position

– The test is performed with the patient in a relaxed supine position. The knee to be tested should be flexed to about 15 degrees. One of the examiners hands holds and stabilizes the distal femur of the leg to be tested. The examiners other hand firmly grasps the proximal tibia of the same leg.

Test Movement

– From the starting position the examiner pulls anteriorly on the proximal tibia.

Positive Test

– This test is considered positive if there is a soft end feel to the translation of the tibia. A soft end feel / endpoint is indicative of secondary structures stopping the continued anterior translation of the tibia. Excessive anterior translation may also be noted. A hard/firm end feel will be felt when the ACL is intact and abruptly halts continued anterior translation.

Accuracy of Test

– The Lachman Test is quite accurate but should not be used as the only criterion for ruling in or out ACL integrity.


Kai performs the most valid test for anterior cruciate ligament assessment: The Lachman Test.
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