RESEARCH ARTICLE


Clinical Assessment of the Shoulder



Thomas D Donnelly*, Sridhar Ashwin, Robert J MacFarlane , Mohammed Waseem
Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, East Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Macclesfield District General Hospital, Victoria Road, Macclesfield, SK10 3BL, UK


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© Donnelly et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/) which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, East Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Macclesfield District General Hospital, Victoria Road, Macclesfield, SK10 3BL, UK; Tel 01625 661307; Fax: 01625 661436; E-mail: tdonnelly@doctors.org.uk


Abstract

The shoulder joint is complex in structure and functionality. It is often difficult to assess clinically due to the great variety of associated pathology. This article presents an overview of the anatomy of the shoulder region and associated pathologies, whilst providing a summary of the clinical examination of the shoulder and associated ‘special tests’.

A full history is vital when assessing shoulder pathology. No particular test is fully sensitive or specific alone and accuracy varies between both clinicians and patients alike. Assessment of the shoulder should be conducted systematically with a range of tests combined.

Keywords: Shoulder assessment, clinical examination, special test.