Dr. Joseph Torg made great advances in the diagnosis and understanding of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in 1976 with the publishing of his landmark paper, “Clinical diagnosis of anterior cruciate ligament instability in the athlete.” This publication defined the proper execution of the Lachman test, which is a variation of the more commonly utilized anterior drawer test, in diagnosing anterior cruciate ligament ruptures. At the time of publication, the ACL was thought to hold little importance, primarily due to an inability to effectively and consistently diagnose isolated rupture patterns and therefore, a lack of understanding of the ACL’s important role in joint stability. Torg purported the Lachman test as a way to overcome the difficulties in accurately diagnosing ACL insufficiency by resolving the problems commonly encountered when performing the anterior drawer test. A decade after initial introduction of the Lachman test, Torg and colleagues further defined a specific grading system for the Lachman test using a knee arthrometer. This allowed for a quantitative assessment of joint instability and, subsequently, outlined specific treatment protocols based on the relative severity of the injury. In the years following these publications, multiple other studies have supported the accuracy of the Lachman test in diagnosing isolated ACL ruptures, solidifying the importance of the test in the clinical setting.
Anterior cruciate ligament Lachman test Knee instability
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