Mechanics of the anterior drawer test at the ankle: The effects of ligament viscoelasticity

F. Corazza, A. Leardini, J. J. O'Connor, V. Parenti Castelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The anterior drawer test at the human ankle joint is a routine clinical examination. The relationship between the mechanical response of this joint and the flexion angle was elucidated by a recent mathematical model, using purely elastic mechanical characteristics for the ligament fibres. The objective of the present work was to assess the effect of ligament viscoelasticity on the force response of the ankle joint for anterior displacements of the foot relative to the tibia, at different ankle flexion positions. A viscoelastic model of the ligaments from the literature was included in the recently proposed mathematical model. Drawer tests were simulated at several flexion angles and for increasing velocities of the imposed anterior displacement. The stiffness of the model ankle joint increased only modestly with velocity. The response force found for a 6 mm displacement at 20° plantarflexion increased by only 13% for a one hundred-fold increase in velocity from 0.1 to 10 mm/s. The flexion angle was confirmed as the most influential parameter in the mechanical response of the ankle to anterior drawer test.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2118-2123
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005


  • Ankle joint
  • Anterior drawer test
  • Ligaments
  • Mechanical modelling
  • Viscoelasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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