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The Hawkins-Kennedy test is used to detect the presence of shoulder impingement syndrome. To perform this test, stabilize the affected shoulder with one hand and bring the patient’s arm forward so that both the shoulder and the elbow are at 90 degrees of flexion. Now internally rotate the shoulder.
This test is considered positive if it produces shoulder pain on internal rotation, suggesting subacromial impingement. The test position pushes the supraspinatus tendon against the lateral band of the coracoacromial ligament and the coracoid process, and brings the greater tubercle forward, narrowing the space between it and the acromion. A number of soft tissue structures are vulnerable to compression and a positive test could implicate supraspinatus tendinopathy, subacromial bursitis, or bicipital tendinopathy.
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