Special Tests

Apprehension Test (Crank Test)

Testing for: History of anterior glenohumeral instability, including laxity of the anterior ligaments, recent subluxations, or past dislocations.

Positive test: Apprehension exhibited on face before endpoint can be achieved.

Mechanics: Patient lies supine close to the edge of the table so that shoulder and arm are allowed full ROM. With the arm abducted 90 degrees, the shoulder is slowly and gently externally rotated as far as the athlete will allow. At no time should this movement be forced.

Hawkins Kennedy Impingement Test

Testing for: Impingement of the supraspinatus muscle

Positive test: Decreased R.O.M often accompanied with pain

Mechanics: Bring the athlete’s shoulder to 90° abduction and 45° of horizontal adduction with the elbow flexed to 90°. Support the elbow and gently internally rotate the shoulder.

Acromioclavicular Distraction Test

Testing for: AC trauma or instability

Positive test: Instability, sulcus sign, or pain at the AC joint

Mechanics: Have the patient hold arms down at side. Hold just above the elbow to ensure that test is pinpointing AC problems rather than elbow laxity. Pull inferiorly while placing the other hand on the AC joint.

Empty Can Test

Testing for: Supraspinatus pathologies

Positive test: Muscle weakness accompanied with pain

Mechanics: With the patient standing, instruct the patient to abduct their shoulders to 90 degrees and horizontally adduct arms to 45 degrees with the thumbs pointing downward. The patient will then attempt to lift their arms against the examiner’s resistance.

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