Infraspinatus Test

Original Editor - Tyler Shultz

Top Contributors -

Tyler Shultz and Rachael Lowe  

Contents

Purpose

The Infraspinatus test is used to test for subacromial impingement or rotator cuff tears.

Technique[1]

The patient should be standing, with the arm in a neutral position and the elbow flexed to 90 degrees.  The therapist will apply a medially directed force to the arm while the patient is instructed to resist.  The test is considered positive if the patient reports pain or weakness when resistance is applied. 

Evidence

Test Item Cluster:
This test may be combined as a cluster with the Hawkins-Kennedy Impingement Sign and the Painful Arc sign to test for subacromial impingement. If 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 0.17. If two of the three tests are positive, then the positive likelihood ratio is 5.03.[2]

Test Item Cluster:
This test may be combined as a cluster with the Drop-Arm Sign and the Painful Arc Sign to test for the presence of a full-thickness rotator cuff tear. If all three tests report positive results, then the positive likelihood ratio is 15.6 and if all three tests are negative, the negative likelihood ratio is 0.16. If all three tests are positive and the patient is older than 60 years, the positive likelihood ratio is 28.0. If two of three tests are positive, the positive likelihood ratio is 3.60.[3]


See test diagnostics page for explanation of statistics.

References

  1. Flynn, T.W., Cleland, J.A., and Whitman, J.M. (2008). User's guide to the musculoskeletal examination: Fundamentals for the evidence-based clinician. Buckner, Kentucky: Evidence in Motion
  2. 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.
  3. 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.