Codman's test (Drop Arm Test): Supraspinatus Tear

Codman's test is typically used in the assessment of a suspected rotator cuff tear.

Purpose

Codman's test is typically used in the assessment of a suspected rotator cuff tear. This test is also commonly referred to as the drop-arm test or sign.

Codman's test (Drop Arm Test)

Technique

The therapist passively raises the patient's arm to 90 degrees of abduction. The patient then lowers the arm back to neutral with the palm down. If the patient's arm drops suddenly or experiences pain, then the test is considered positive.

Evidence

This test may be combined as a cluster with the Infraspinatus Test and the Painful Arc Sign to test for the presence of a full-thickness rotator cuff tear. If all three tests report positive results, then the positive likelihood ratio is 15.6 and if all three tests are negative, the negative likelihood ratio is 0.16. 

If all three tests are positive and the patient is older than 60 years, the positive likelihood ratio is 28.0. If two of three tests are positive, the positive likelihood ratio is 3.60.

Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio
Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio Dr. Rohit Bhaskar, Physio is Founder of Bhaskar Health and Physiotherapy and is also a consulting physiotherapist. He completed his Graduation in Physiotherapy from Uttar Pradesh University of Medical Sciences. His clinical interests are in Chest Physiotherapy, stroke rehab, parkinson’s and head injury rehab. Bhaskar Health is dedicated to readers, doctors, physiotherapists, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. Bhaskar Health audience is the reason I feel so passionate about this project, so thanks for reading and sharing Bhaskar Health.

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