Video – Sulcus Sign

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Sulcus Sign

This video will present the procedure for demonstrating a sulcus sign. The testing procedure is also called “the inferior shoulder instability test” and the long axis distraction test.

The purpose of this test is to assess for inferior instability or general laxity of the glenohumeral joint.

With the patient in a seated position and the hand resting on the thigh, stabilize the opposite shoulder with one hand and place your other hand in the cubital fossa, grasping the elbow.  Now apply a downward force, tractioning the humerus inferiorly.

The appearance of an indentation immediately below the acromion is called a sulcus sign and is indicative of shoulder inferior instability or general glenohumeral laxity. Note any sensation of excessive inferior translation, which may be important in the obese patient, where the sulcus sign may not be as evident.

It is important to perform the test bilaterally to allow for individual variation.

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