Shoulder Examination

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A review of the Shoulder Joint Anatomy may be beneficial before considering the principles and concepts of the shoulder examination.

A shoulder examination should be performed in a systematic manner. [1] First, the shoulder is carefully inspected visually, followed by palpation and range-of-motion assessment. Strength testing is then performed. If indicated, functional assessment is performed next and may be followed by a neurological assessment, necessary. Other special tests may then be performed, followed lastly by painful movements.

Specific details of each phase of the shoulder examination are discussed under Technique.

David J. Magee. Shoulder. Orthopedic Physical Assessment. Third. Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders; 1997. 5.

Shoulder. Letha Yurko Giffin, MD, PhD. Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care. 3rd. Rosemont, IL: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons; 2005. Section Two.

Martin RM, Fish DE. Scapular winging: anatomical review, diagnosis, and treatments. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. March 2008. 1 (1):1 – 11. [Full Text].

Hoppenfeld, Stanley. Physical Examination of the Shoulder. Physical Examination of the Spine & Extremities. Syntax. Norwalk, CT: Appleton-Century-Crofts; 1976. Chapter 1.

Florence Kendall. John P. Butler. Muscles. Testing and Function. 4th. Baltimore, MD 21202: Williams & Wilkins; 1993.

Romeo AA, Mazzocca A, Hand DW, Shott S, Bach, Jr. BR. Shoulder Scoring Scales for the Evaluation of Rotator Cuff Repair. CLINICAL ORTHOPAEDICS AND RELATED RESEARCH. July 2004. 427:107 – 114.

Simple Shoulder Test. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Available at Accessed: February 1, 2012.

Brett J Rothaermel, MD, PT Clinical Instructor, Department of Physical and Rehabilitation, Louisiana State University School of ; Clinical Lead, Southeast Louisiana Veterans Healthcare System

Brett J Rothaermel, MD, PT is a member of the following societies: American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Louisiana State Medical Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Thomas M DeBerardino, MD Orthopedic Surgeon, The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group; Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine Co-Director, Combined Baylor College of Medicine-The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group, Texas Sports Medicine Fellowship; Director, Burkhart Research Institute for Orthopaedics (BRIO) of the San Antonio Orthopaedic Group; Consulting Surgeon, Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy and Reconstruction of the Knee, Hip and Shoulder

Thomas M DeBerardino, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Association, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy Association of North America, Herodicus Society, International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine

Disclosure: Serve(d) as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee for: Arthrex, Inc.; MTF; Aesculap; The Foundry, Cotera; ABMT; Conmed; <br/>Received research grant from: Histogenics; Cotera; Arthrex.


Thank you to Mike McNeil, PT, and Superior Rehabilitation in Metairie, LA for providing video demonstrations.

Shoulder Examination

Research & References of Shoulder Examination|A&C Accounting And Tax Services

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