An Evidence Based Approach to the Shoulder Exam

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There are over 100 different physical examination tests described to evaluate the shoulder. Confusion exists with regard to not only the proper technique but the validity of commonly used tests. In today's fast paced environment evidence based accuracy and efficiency when examining athletes is very important. This presentation will review the proper technique and statistical validation, and relevance of the best tests based on current literature. The discussion will include a demonstration of an efficient sequence and algorithm incorporating all necessary tests to complete a thorough and comprehensive examination of the shoulder.


  • Participants will be able to describe the history and proper indications for the most commonly used shoulder exam tests., 
  • Participants will be able to explain basic statistical terms (i.e., sensitivity, specificity, diagnostic accuracy) to describe the validity of physical exam tests., 
  • Participants will be able to describe the proper technique for performing shoulder exam tests.




Domain 2: Assessment Evaluation and Diagnosis

0.75 Category A

Keywords: shoulder, examination, tests, diagnostic, pitching, throwing,

Steve Jordan, MD

Dr. Steve Jordan is a board certified, fellowship trained orthopaedic surgeon. Dr. Jordan earned his Medical Degree from Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Jordan specializes in sports medicine; however, he takes a special interest in shoulder injuries, throwing injuries, ACL reconstruction, and Tommy John reconstruction. Dr. Jordan is the Team Physician for both Washington High School and Chipola College.

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