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Anterolateral Drawer Test Ankle

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Other Names

  • Anterolateral Drawer Test Ankle


The anterolateral drawer test to assess subtalar joint laxity. The tibia is stabilized and the hindfoot is held with maximum ankle dorsiflexion to lock the joint in the ankle mortise and avoid tibiotalar movement. Then, (A) anterior stress is applied at the posterior calcaneus, (B) combined with inversion, internal rotation, and adduction of the forefoot, as shown by arrows.[1]


  • Stabilize anterior leg with one hand, grasp calcaneus with other
  • Examiner then places the patient's foot into 10-15° of plantar flexion, translates the rear foot anteriorly
  • The thumb is placed along the relatively smooth plane formed by the lateral aspect of the anterior talar dome and the anterior aspect of lateral malleolus 1 cm proximal to its tip.
  • Anterior translation is applied at the posterior aspect of the heel while the foot is allowed to rotate internally and any step-off is palpable by the thumb.
  • Positive test
    • Translation of talus anteriorly
    • Graded on a "0 to 3 scale", with 0 indicating no laxity & 3 indicating gross laxity.



Chronic Lateral Ankle Instability

  • Cadaveric study by Phisitkul et al[2]
    • Sensitivity 100%
    • Specificity 100%

See Also


  1. Pereira, Bruno S., et al. "Current concepts on subtalar instability." Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine 9.8 (2021): 23259671211021352.
  2. Phisitkul, Phinit, et al. "Accuracy of anterolateral drawer test in lateral ankle instability: a cadaveric study." Foot & ankle international 30.7 (2009): 690-695.
Created by:
John Kiel on 24 August 2021 15:12:04
Last edited:
24 March 2023 08:52:30