Dr. Kevin Yip

Dr Kevin Yip
Orthopaedic Surgeon

Featured on Channel NewsAsia

PASSIVE TESTS-Passive elevation


The subject stands with the arms hanging alongside the body. The examiner stands behind the subject and takes hold of the
elbow at the distal part of the upper arm.


Take the arm up sideways in the frontal plane as far as possible. Allow some external rotation about 900 of abduction. Reaching
the end of range, give counter-pressure with the other hand at the subject’s opposite shoulder.

Common mistakes:

• When the arm is grasped distally to the
subject’S elbow, elbow movement prevents
assessment of end-feel.
• The arm is not allowed to externally rotate.
• The movement is stopped before the end of
the possible range is reached.
• At the end of range the arm is taken
backwards in a sagittal plane.
• Lnsufficient counter-pressure results in the
subject Side-flexing the body.
Normal functional anatomy:
• Rallge: 1800
• Elld-feel: elastic
• Limitillg structures:

– the axillary part of the joint capsule
– stretching of the acromioclavicular and
sternoclavicular ligaments
– the adductors and internal rotators of the
– contact between the lesser tuberosity of the
humerus and the upper part of the glenoid

Common pathological situations:

• The movement can be painful in subdeltoid
bursitis and in rotator cuff tendinitis, as well
as in acromjoclavicular lesions.
• LimHation occurs in arthritis and arthrosis of
the shoulder and in serious extracapsular

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