Video – Anterior Shoulder Instability Tests

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Anterior Shoulder Instability Tests

This video will present a group of tests known as shoulder apprehension, relocation, and anterior release tests. These three tests are performed to assess glenohumeral joint anterior instability. These tests are commonly performed in a series and best done with the patient supine.  To perform the apprehension test, the patient places the affected shoulder in a position of 90 degrees of abduction with the elbow flexed to 90 degrees. The examiner then places one hand under the posterior aspect of the shoulder and scapula to stabilize the patient’s position then pushes the wrist posteriorly to induce external rotation.

If the patient experiences a sensation of impending anterior slippage of the humerus the test is considered positive and indicates anterior glenohumeral joint instability. Immediately following the apprehension test, the relocation test is performed with the examiner taking the hand from behind the shoulder and placing it on the anterior aspect. The examiner then pushes the humerus posteriorly. If the feeling of anterior displacement of the humerus is relieved, this constitutes a positive test and confirms the presence of anterior instability.

Immediately following the relocation test, the anterior release test is performed with the examiner abruptly releasing the posterior pressure on the humerus. If the feeling of impending anterior displacement of the humerus returns, the test is considered positive and further confirms the presence of anterior instability. 

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