Video – Drop Arm Test

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Drop Arm Test

The drop arm test is used to detect the presence of a supraspinatus tendon rupture or acute tendinopathy. This test is also sometimes called Codman’s test or Codman’s sign. To perform this test, abduct the patient’s shoulder to above horizontal with the elbow extended and then ask the patient to slowly lower the arm.

If the patient is unable to comply and the arm falls to the side or shoulder pain results together with an abrupt hunching of the shoulder, the test is considered positive and indicates a rupture or acute tendinopathy of the supraspinatus tendon. The abrupt hunching suggests that scapulothoracic rotation has replaced glenohumeral adduction indicating a disturbance to the normal scapulohumeral rhythm.

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