About the Anterior Drawer Test

About the Posterior Drawer Test (PDS)

The PDS is a simple but effective way to evaluate whether or not your child’s foot is developing properly. The PDS involves placing the heel of one foot against another and sliding it back and forth across the floor until both feet are touching.

If your child’s feet do not touch at least once during this movement, then they have developed proper ankle flexibility.

What Does the Posterior Drawer Test Measure?

The posterior drawer test measures how far apart your child’s ankles are when their heels are placed against each other. A score of 1 indicates normal ankle mobility; a score of 3 indicates excessive dorsiflexion (bending inward); and a score of 5 indicates excessive flexion (bending outward).

How Is the Posterior Drawer Test Performed?

To perform the posterior drawer test, place your child’s left foot against your right foot. Slide it backward and forward until both feet are touching. Do not allow either foot to slip off the ground! Your child may need assistance with this maneuver if: Their legs are too long for their bodies; They have a limp leg; Or They have a deformity such as dwarfism or short stature.

What Do the Results of the Posterior Drawer Test Mean?

A score of 1 indicates proper ankle mobility.

A score of 3 indicates excessive ankle dorsiflexion, which can lead to an increased risk of back pain.

A score of 5 indicates excessive ankle plantar flexion, which can also lead to an increased risk of back pain.

Why Is the Posterior Drawer Test Important?

The posterior drawer test can help you identify children who are at risk of developing back pain as they grow older. This simple maneuver can be used to monitor their risk factors to ensure that they keep up with proper back care throughout their lives.

It is important to note, however, that a score of 1 does not eliminate the possibility of your child developing back pain later on. Exercise and diet can help, but your child’s occupation is another major factor in their risk of back pain.

Doctors have not yet determined what factors cause some people to be more prone to back pain than others. But meanwhile, the PDS can help you identify children who are at higher risk and can benefit from further testing as well as lifestyle changes to help prevent back pain when they grow up.

Sources & references used in this article:

Reliability of the anterior drawer test, the pivot shift test, and the Lachman test by SJ Kim, HK Kim – Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®, 1995 – journals.lww.com

Biomechanical analysis of the ankle anterior drawer test for anterior talofibular ligament injuries by H Tohyama, BD Beynnon, PA Renström… – Journal of …, 1995 – Wiley Online Library

Anterior drawer test for acute anterior talofibular ligament injuries of the ankle: how much load should be applied during the test? by H Tohyama, K Yasuda, Y Ohkoshi… – … American journal of …, 2003 – journals.sagepub.com

Examination of the sprained ankle: anterior drawer test or arthrography? by S Lähde, M Putkonen, J Puranen… – European journal of …, 1988 – europepmc.org

Ligament fibre recruitment and forces for the anterior drawer test at the human ankle joint by F Corazza, JJ O’connor, A Leardini, VP Castelli – Journal of biomechanics, 2003 – Elsevier

The diagnostic accuracy of ruptures of the anterior cruciate ligament comparing the Lachman test, the anterior drawer sign, and the pivot shift test in acute and chronic … by JW Katz, RJ Fingeroth – The American journal of sports …, 1986 – journals.sagepub.com

Clinical diagnosis of ruptures of the anterior cruciate ligament: a comparison between the Lachman test and the anterior drawer sign by A Mitsou, P Vallianatos – Injury, 1988 – injuryjournal.com

Biomechanical evaluation of the anterior drawer test: the contribution of the lateral ankle ligaments by C Bulucu, KA Thomas, TL Halvorson… – Foot & ankle, 1991 – journals.sagepub.com

New method of diagnosis for chronic ankle instability: comparison of manual anterior drawer test, stress radiography and stress ultrasound by KT Lee, YU Park, H Jegal, JW Park, JP Choi… – Knee Surgery, Sports …, 2014 – Springer