We assessed hyperextension of the knee and joint laxity in 169 consecutive patients who underwent an anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction between 2000 and 2002 and correlated this with a selected number of age- and gender-matched controls. In addition, the mechanism of injury in the majority of patients was documented. Joint laxity was present in 42.6% (72 of 169) of the patients and hyperextension of the knee in 78.7% (133 of 169). All patients with joint laxity had hyperextension of their knee. In the control group only 21.5% (14 of 65) had joint laxity and 37% (24 of 65) had hyperextension of the knee. Statistical analysis showed a significant correlation for these associations. We conclude that anterior cruciate ligament injury is more common in those with joint laxity and particularly so for those with hyperextension of the knee.