ACL Test

This ACL Surgery question comes from Jonathan. He was wondering if there is an ACL test he can do himself. I completely understand the motivation to try and determine yourself if there has been any damage to the knee by doing the test yourself.

Hi Jon, I am curious to know if there is a way I can test my acl graft by myself. I haven’t done anything that would put my acl in jeopardy, but if I do, I would want to test it to see it if it isn’t lax. So if there is a way that you have found to do the test by your self? Thanks

Testing yourself to determine if there has been an increased laxness is really difficult! I dont believe I can do it.

However after I re-tore my ACL I was able to do a ACL test on myself and was confident it was re-torn.

ACL Test

This test describes how to test your right knee, you should test both knees to determine if you can tell a difference. If you are doing an ACL test on your left knee simply reveres the left/rights below.

  1. Sit in a chair with your legs at 90 degrees
  2. Place your left hand on top of your knee cap and hold your knee and femur in place
  3. Place your right hand on the upper outside of your right calf
  4. Relax your leg as best as possible
  5. Start gradually and push your right hand into your calf pushing your shin forward
  6. Increase the speed and force at which you push, what you are feeling for is a “hard stop”. If you can push a short distance and feel a hard stop than you have likely not torn you knee. If you push your shin forward and notice on your leg in question its not a firm stop and your shin can travel a greater distance than there is a chance you have torn your ACL and should go see a doctor.
ACl Test

How to Do a Proper ACL Test


This is not even close to reliable and has the potential to cause further injury. Even a doctor doing a proper test like in the video below, can get your diagnosis wrong. I recommend you get an MRI is you are unsure as to whether you have a torn ACL.

ACL Test Reliability

A sports medicine doctor saw me after I first tore my ACL and mis-diagnosed it doing the Lachman test as in the video above. It is worth getting a second opinion and best of all getting an MRI.

The Top 5 At Home Exercises
I did that helped get me walking 4 days after surgery

Click Here to see the exercises


  1. Jonathan says:

    Thanks, this works well.

  2. Jon Haver says:

    I am glad it works for you!

  3. on march 23 i had my acl injury.. and everything seems ok. for the past three days i played basketball and tried to post up. as i post up, my knee kind of popped and lost balance and fell… but this pop is different from my acl injury because i instantly stood up without intense pain.. as i go home… i can walk properly and move my legs freely with a minimal pain on the inside part of the knee… now what i feel on my knee is as if im back to the 4th month post acl recovery where you can partially put weight, jog, jump and full range motion.. its just when i hyper extend my knee, it kind of hurts and im afraid to pivot again. IS THIS AN ACL REINJURY? or just a mild sprain? if so can you help me and explain. thanks!!