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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Athletic Training

Special Tests

Page address: http://ahn.mnsu.edu/athletictraining/spata/elbowmodule/specialtests.html

Lateral Epicondylitis Test/Resistive Tennis Elbow Test/Cozen's Test

Steps
Athlete is sitting
Examiner stabilizes the involved elbow while palpating along the lateral epicondyle
With closed fist, the athlete pronates and radially deviates the forearm and extends the wrist against the examiner's resistance
Positive Test
Pain along the lateral epicondyle region of the humerus or objective muscle weakness as a result of complaints of discomfort
Positive Test Implications
Lateral epicondylitis
See Test

Lateral Epicondylitis Test/Passive Tennis Elbow Test

Steps
Athlete is sitting with elbow in relaxed position supported by table
Examiner stabilizes involved elbow with one hand and places the palm of the other hand on the dorsal espect of the patients hand just distal to the proximal interphalangeal joint of the third digit
Positive Test
Pain along the lateral epicondyle region of the humerus or objective muscle weakness
Positive Test Implications
Lateral epicondylitis
See Test

Lateral Epicondylitis Test/Passive Tennis Elbow Test (Cozen's Test)

Steps
Athlete is sitting with elbow fully extended
Examiner passively pronates the forearm and flexes the athlete's wrist
Positive Test
Pain along the lateral epicondyle region of the humerus
Positive Test Implications
Lateral epicondylitis
See Test

Medial Epicondylitis Test/Golfer's Elbow Test

Steps
Athlete is sitting or standing and makes a fist with the involved side
Examiner faces the athlete and palpates along the medial epicondyle with one hand and grasps the athlete's wrist with the other hand
Examiner passively supinates the forearm and extends the elbow, wrist and fingers
Positive Test
Complaints of discomfort along the medial aspect of the elbow
Positive Test Implications
Medial epicondylitis
See Test

Elbow Flexion Test

Steps
Athlete is sitting or standing
Athlete maximally flexes the elbow and holds the position for 3 to 5 minutes
Positive Test
Radiating pain into the median nerve distribution in the athlete's arm and/or hand
Positive Test Implications
Cubital fossa syndrome

Varus Stress Test

Steps
Athlete is sitting with elbow flexed to 20 to 30 degrees
Examiner stands with the distal hand around the athlete's wrist (laterally) and the proximal hand over the athlete's elbow joint (medially)
Examiner stabilizes the wrist and applies a varus stress to the elbow with the proximal hand
Positive Test
Lateral elbow pain and/or increased varus movement with diminished or absent endpoint
Positive Test Implications
Radial (lateral) collateral ligament sprain
See Test

Valgus Stress Test

Steps
Athlete is sitting with the elbow flexed to 20 to 30 degrees
Examiner stands with distal hand around the athlete's wrist (medially) and the proximal hand over the athlete's elbow joint (laterally)
Examiner stabilizes the wrist and applies a valgus stress to the elbow with the proximal hand
Positive Test
Medial elbow pain and/or increased valgus movement with a diminished or absent endpoint
Positive Test Implications
Ulnar (medial) collateral ligament sprain
See Test

Tinel's Sign Test

Steps
Athlete is sitting with the elbow in slight flexion
Examiner grasps athlete's wrist (laterally) with distal hand
Examiner stabilizes the wrist and taps on the ulnar nerve in the ulnar notch with the index finger
Positive Test
Tingling along the ulnar distribution of the forearm, hand and fingers
Positive Test Implications
Ulnar nerve compromise
See Test

Pinch Grip Test

Steps
Athlete is sitting or standing
Examiner instructs athlete to pinch the tips of the thumb and index finger together
Positive Test
Inability to touch the tips of the thumb and index finger together or touching the pads of the thumb and index finger together
Positive Test Implications
Pathology of the anterior interosseous nerve between the two heads of the pronator muscle
See Test