Orthopedics Book

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Supraspinatus Test

Aka: Supraspinatus Test, Empty Cans Test, Full Cans Test, Shoulder Abduction
  1. See Also
    1. Shoulder Strength Exam
    2. Shoulder Anatomy
    3. Shoulder Exam
    4. Shoulder History
    5. Shoulder Pain
  2. Indication
    1. Shoulder Impingement
  3. Technique: Start Position
    1. Patient forward flexes Shoulder 90 degrees (directly in front or 30 degrees abducted to side)
    2. Hand position (pronation or supination isolates different muscles)
      1. Empty Cans Test (isolates supraspinatus muscle)
        1. Wrists pronated as if emptying cans
      2. Full Cans Test (isolates biceps muscle)
        1. Wrists supinated as if holding cans upright
        2. May be more specific for Supraspinatus impingement
  4. Technique: Provocative Maneuver
    1. Patient tries to maintain forward flexion against the examiner's downward pressure
  5. Interpretation
    1. Arm weakness is specific to Supraspinatus impingement
  6. Efficacy
    1. Test Sensitivity: 44%
    2. Test Specificity: 90%

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