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Hawkins / Kennedy Test

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Original Editor - Tyler Shultz

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Tyler Shultz and Rachael Lowe  



This test is commonly used to identify possible subacromial impingement syndrome.


The examiner places the patient's arm shoulder in 90 degrees of shoulder flexion with the elbow flexed to 90 degrees and then internally rotates the arm.  The test is considered to be positive if the patient experiences pain with internal rotation.[1]



Diagnostic Test Properties for Hawkins-Kennedy Impingement Sign[3]
Sensitivity   0.62 - 0.92
Specificity   0.25 - 1.00
Positive Likelihood Ratio   1.20 - 3.33
Negative Likelihood Ratio   0.21 - 0.55

Test Item Cluster:
When this test is combined as a cluster with the Painful Arc Sign and the Infraspinatus test, and all three tests report a positive, then the positive likelihood ratio is 10.56 and if all three tests are negative, the negative likelihood ratio is .17. If two of the three tests are positive, then the positive likelihood ratio is 5.03.[4]

See test diagnostics page for explanation of statistics.

Recent Related Research (from Pubmed)


References will automatically be added here, see adding references tutorial.

  1. Flynn, T.W., Cleland, J.A., Whitman, J.M. (2008). User's guide to the musculoskeletal examination: Fundamentals for the evidence-based clinician. Buckner, Kentucky: Evidence in Motion
  2. online video,, last accessed 1/22/09
  3. Dutton, M. (2008). Orthopaedic: Examination, evaluation, and intervention (2nd ed.). New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
  4. Park, H.B., Yokota, A., Gill, H.S., EI RG, McFarland, E.G. (2005). Diagnostic accuracy of clinical tests for the different degrees of subacromial impingement syndrome. J Bone Joint Surg Am, 87(7), 1446-1455.

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