Shoulder Physical Exam Testing
Drop-arm Test - Rotator ...
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Shoulder Physical Exam Testing

Drop-arm Test - Rotator cuff tear

 • Ask patient to abduct arm at 90°. Test is positive if they cannot smoothly adduct shoulder to waist-level.

Neer Test - Subacromial impingement, rotator cuff tear or tendonopathy 

 • Fully pronate forearm (thumb pointing backwards) then bring shoulder to full forward flexion. Test is positive if there is any pain.

Hawkins Test - Subacromial impingement, rotator cuff tear or tendonopathy

 • Forward flex shoulder to 90°. Then flex elbow to 90°. Then internally rotate the shoulder. Test is positive if there is pain.

External rotation - Teres minor & infraspinatus tear or tendonopathy

 • Flex elbow to 90°. Patient externally rotates the shoulder while examiner provides resistance. Test is positive if there is pain.

Empty can - Supraspinatus tear or tendonopathy

 • Forward flex shoulder to 90°. Then internally rotate forearm (thumb points downward). Patient resists examiner’s attempts to push arm downward. Test is positive if there is pain. 



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