The relocation test is used to assess for anterior shoulder instability.

Performing the Test

  1. Start by positioning the patient supine, with affected shoulder over the edge of table
  2. The patient's arm is then passively abducted to 90°, externally rotated to 90°, and elbow flexed to 90° (thrower’s position)
  3. The examiner then applies force to the anterior humeral head
  4. The test is positive if the patient feels apprehension or their pain is relieved
  5. Sensitivity: 85%; specificity: 87%
  6. LR+ = 6.5; LR- = 0.2


  1. Essential Evidence Plus. 2011. Accessed February 2011.
  2. Magee D. Orthopedic Physical Assessment. 1st ed. Philadelphia:Saunders; 1986.
  3. Hurley K. OSCE and Clinical Skills Handbook. Halifax: Elsevier Canada; 2005.