The aim of the current study was to evaluate the sensitivity of the lever sign test and the widely used basic tests of the Lachman, anterior drawer and pivot shift tests, both under anaesthesia and without anaesthesia, according to the gold standard diagnostic arthroscopic results in patients undergoing anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. The study included 117 patients, diagnosed with ACL tear which was definitively determined during an arthroscopic surgical procedure applied. Before anaesthesia and while under anaesthesia, the Lachman, anterior drawer, pivot shift and lever sign tests were applied to all patients. Evaluation was made of MR images for each patient and documented. The patients comprised 96 males and 21 females, witha mean age of 25.8 +/- 5.9 years (range, 17-45 years). Total tear was determined in 82 cases, anteromedial (AM) bundle in 14, posterolateral (PL) bundle in 13 and elongation in 8. Pre-naesthesia positivity was found in lever sign at 94.2 %, Lachman at 80.5 %, pivot shift at 62.3 % and anterior drawer at 60.1 %. These rates were determined after anaesthesia as lever sign 98.4 %, Lachman 88.7 %, pivot shift 88.3 % and anterior drawer 84.2 %. The lever sign test can be easily applied clinically and it seems to have higher sensitivity than the Lachman test which is the basis of classic information, it should be included in routine clinical practice. In the light of the results of this study, further studies are required to review the accepted view that the Lachmann test is the most reliable test.