Inferior Sulcus Test

Original Editor - Tyler Shultz

Top Contributors - Rachael Lowe, Tyler Shultz, Kim Jackson, Tony Lowe and Evan Thomas

Sulcus Sign


The Sulcus Test is used to assess the glenohumeral joint for inferior instability, due to laxity of the superior glenohumeral ligament and coracohumeral ligament.[1]


The test is considered positive when a sulcus sign is seen when the examiner applies a downward force applied at the elbow while the arm in neutral rotation and resting at the patient's side.  A sulcus is defined as a depression greater than a fingerbreadth between the lateral acromion and the head of the humerus.[2]


Provide the evidence for this technique here.


  1. Tzannes, A., Murrell, G. (2002). Clinical examination of the unstable shoulder. Journal of Sports Medicine. 32(7):447-57.
  2. Dutton, M. (2008). Orthopaedic: Examination, evaluation, and intervention (2nd ed.). New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.