Dr. Kevin Yip

Dr Kevin Yip
Orthopaedic Surgeon

Featured on Channel NewsAsia

Passive tests-Passive glenohumeral abduction


The subject stands with the upper arm alongside the body. The examiner stands level with and behind the subject’s arm. One
hand takes hold of the elbow, just above the joint.The thumb of the other hand is placed against the lateral aspect of the lower angle of the scapula.


Abduct the arm slowly, meanwhile preventing the scapula from moving.
End of range is reached when the scapula can no longer be stabilized and starts to slip under the thumb.

Common mistakes:

• The scapula is not stabilized sufficiently.
– Altemative technique: When the lower angle of the scapula cannot be stabilized, the lateral margin may be used. The scapula can also be stabilized by placing one hand upon the acromion.
• Movement is not performed to the end of the
possible range.

Normal functional anatomy:

• Range: 90·
• Elld-feel: ligamentous
• Limiting slructures:
– the axillary part of the jOint capsule
– contact between the greater tuberosity and the upper part of the glenoid labrum.

Common pathological situations:

• The movement is limited in shoulder arthritis.
• It may also become restricted in acute subdeltoid bursitis.

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