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J Hand Ther. 2013 Jan-Mar;26(1):32-42; quiz 43. doi: 10.1016/j.jht.2012.08.005. Epub 2012 Oct 11.

The value of provocative tests for the wrist and elbow: a literature review.

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Hand Works Therapy, 2616 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, FL 34239, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Hand Ther. 2015 Jan-Mar;28(1):86.


To describe and determine the usefulness of provocative tests for the wrist and elbow a literature search was performed. A total of 31 diagnostic studies were identified, assessed, and ranked. The highest ranking tests had a mean positive likelihood ratio of ≥2.0, or a mean negative likelihood ratio of ≤0.5, from more than one study. The highly recommended tests were found to be the Phalen's, Tinel's test for carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel, and modified compression test, scaphoid shift test, and elbow flexion test. A total of 14 tests met our requirements to be considered a recommended test. A greater number of provocative tests either do not have adequate data to support their usefulness or their clinical utility has not been assessed. This information may assist hand therapists in choosing which provocative tests are considered clinically useful in improving the probability of the presence or absence of pathology in the hand, wrist, and elbow.



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