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Author: Richard Symister

The Lever Test – Best For Testing ACL Instability?

Knee deep in Mike Reinold’s Knee Seminar, we came across a newer test, the Lever Test, for testing for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) laxity. One study proposed that it surpassed the standard Lachman’s and Anterior Drawer tests.

What Did We Find?

Richard conducts a Lever Test to evaluate an ACL injury
MovEvolution owner, Richard Symister, conducts an ACL evaluation.

We have to say: We get the bio-mechanics of the test and can see its clinical usefulness in a less  acute stage of ACL tears (less swelling, tissue irritability, pain and guarding). However, the Lever Test is basically a one shot deal for us. Because the test is a bit aggressive on the knee, it can often increase pain, which may increase client apprehension and  hamstring guarding. That is to say, once we administer the Test, the client’s  knee may get “pissed off,” guard and give us a  false negative grade to the test.

Our Take On The Lever Test

Overall, we prefer the less aggressive Lachman’s and Anterior Drawer tests for assessing ACL lesions for most new, acute ACL injuries and post-surgical procedures. We would, however,  recommend adding the Lever Test for later re-evaluations, when pain and muscle guarding have calmed down.

Is the Lever Test Better Than Lachman’s or Anterior Drawer? Richard Symister, of MovEvolution, is about to find out.


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