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Posterior Drawer Test

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Updated June 30, 2008

Definition: The best test to diagnose a PCL tear.

With the patient lying flat and relaxed, the examiner bends the knee to a right angle (90 degrees). The examiner then places his fingers on the knee joint, and attempts to shift the tibia backwards.

The test places stress on the PCL. Both the amount of movement (shifting) of the shin bone, as well as the feel of the endpoint of movement (how solid the ligament feels), offer information about the PCL. Knees with a damaged PCL may demonstrate more movement and a less firm endpoint during a posterior drawer test.

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