Assesses for infraspinatus tear, subacromial impingement (glenohumeral OA can give a false positive)

Performing the Test

  1. Patient has elbow in 90° of flexion with elbow adducted against body and shoulder maximally externally rotated
  2. Examiner applies an internal rotational force against patient resistance
  3. Positive test: unable to hold external rotation due to pain or weakness
  4. Sensitivity: 72%; specificity: 66%
  5. LR+ = 2.11; LR- = 0.42


  1. Essential Evidence Plus. 2011. Accessed February 2011.
  2. Bickley L. Bate’s Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking. 10th ed. New York: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009.
  3. Hurley K. OSCE and Clinical Skills Handbook. Halifax: Elsevier Canada; 2005.