Hyperabduction Test

Orthopedic Exam / Special Tests for Physical Therapy: SHOULDER

Special Test: Wright’s Hyperabduction Test

To test for  Neurovascular Compression (TOS) caused by the pectoralis minor.

Video Demo Instructions, Procedure, Positive Test:

Special Test: Wright’s Hyperabduction Test Video Demo (Procedure below)

Special Test: Wright’s Hyperabduction Test: PROCEDURE:

• Patient is seated
• Examiner passively abducts patient’s affected arm to 180°, then
slightly extend the arm.
• Examiner monitors patient’s radial pulse on the abducted

Special Test: Wright’s Hyperabduction Test: POSITIVE SIGN:

  • Patient’s symptoms reoccur (numbness, tingling in
    hands and fingers) or;
  • The patient’s radial pulse diminishes.

The anatomical and clinical findings showed that passive abduction occurs within the glenohumeral joint only, is controlled by the inferior glenohumeral ligament and has a constant value in 95% of both shoulders in normal subjects. In patients with instability, 85% showed an RPA of over 105° with 90° in the contralateral shoulder. In the remaining patients a strongly positive apprehension test suggested a diagnosis of instability.

An RPA of more than 105° is associated with lengthening and laxity of the inferior glenohumeral ligament.
J Bone Joint Surg Br, Jan 2001; 83-B: 69 – 74.