Apprehension Test

The Apprehension Test (aka The Anterior Apprehension Test) is commonly used in orthopedic examination of the shoulder when testing for anterior shoulder instability. It is commonly coupled with the Relocation Test (aka Jobe Relocation Test).

Involved Structures

  • glenohumeral joint capsule

Starting Position

The test is best performed with the patient lying supine on the examination table. The arm to be tested is abducted to 90 degrees with the elbow flexed to 90 degrees. The humerus is initially in neutral rotation.

Test Movement

The examiner supports the elbow of the patient and, with the other hand holding the wrist, slowly externally rotates the humerus. The examiner can do a comparison with doing this same movement while applying posterior pressure to the anterior aspect of the shoulder / glenohumeral joint.

Positive Test

The Apprehension Test is considered positive if the patient expresses reluctance / apprehension during the movement. Pain is not necessarily the result expected in this test but may be reported. The patient will commonly state that the sensation they feel is the same as what they felt during a previous shoulder subluxation or dislocation.

Accuracy of Test

This test is considered to be very accurate for determining anterior instability of the glenohumeral joint.

Video Demonstration


video source: bigesor

>> Return to the list of Orthopedic Tests of the Shoulder

Other tests for anterior instability of the glenohumeral joint:

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top