The Sulcus Sign is an orthopedic test to assess inferior shoulder instability or laxity of the inferior capsule of the glenohumeral joint. Eshoi et al. (2018) have evaluated the inter-rater reliability of this test and the authors have found a moderate degree of reliability with a Kappa k of 0.48.
Performance: The Patient stands or sits with the arm by the side and shoulder muscles relaxed. Then you grasp the patient´s forearm below the elbow and pull distally.
This test is positive in case of the appearance of a little dip under the acromion or the feeling of subluxation which indicates inferior instability or glenohumeral laxity. Be careful though if you have a positive sulcus sign on both sides as this outcome is not as clinically relevant as only unilateral laxity on the affected side.
Other common tests to assess shoulder instability are:
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