Examination of the Shoulder

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There are over a hundred tests described for examining the shoulder. The aim of this study is to present those clinical tests that we have found by research and practice to be helpful when assessing disorders of the shoulder. In brief, we have found the key steps as follows: (1) stiffness is ruled out by checking passive external rotation; (2) evaluate external rotation and supraspinatus power and impingement signs for rotator cuff tears; (3) O’Brien’s sign for superior labral anterior posterior lesions; (4) modified cross arm sign/Modified O’Brien’s sign for acromioclavicular pain; and (5) instability tests if there is a positive history.

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