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J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1997 Jun;25(6):380-9.

The physical examination of the glenohumeral joint: emphasis on the stabilizing structures.

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HealthSouth Rehabilitation Corporation, Birmingham, AL, USA.


Thorough descriptions of specific physical examination tests used to determine glenohumeral instability are lacking in the scientific literature. The purpose of this paper was to discuss the importance of the subjective history and illustrate the physical examination of the glenohumeral joint. Additionally, the authors will illustrate specific stability assessment for the glenohumeral joint based on current basic science and clinical research. The physical examination of a patient whose history suggests subtle glenohumeral joint instability may be extremely difficult for the clinician due to the normal amount of capsular laxity commonly present in most individuals. An essential component of the physical examination is a through and meticulous subjective history which includes the mechanisms of injury and/or dysfunction, chief complaint, level of disability, and aggravating movements. The physical examination must include an assessment of motion, static stability testing, muscle testing, and a neurologic assessment. A comprehensive understanding of various stability testing maneuvers is important for the clinician to appreciate. The evaluation techniques discussed in this paper should assist the clinician in determining the passive stability of the glenohumeral joint.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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