The Bear Hug Test is commonly used in orthopedic examinations to test for a tear in subscapularis tendon or subscapularis tendonitis. It can also show scapular instability. Read more about rotator cuff tears.
This test is usually performed with the patient in sitting. The patient’s arm is placed with the open hand of the affected side placed just in front of the shoulder on the opposite site.
In this position, the examiner attempts to pull the affected arm forward, away from the patient’s chest/shoulder as the patient attempts to resist the movement.
The Bear Hug Test is considered positive if the patient has significant weakness and/or pain.
Accuracy of Test
The Bear Hug Test for integrity of the subscapularis is considered to have very high sensitivity and negative predictive value. Sensitivity 75%, specificity 56%, positive predictive value 62%, negative predictive value 70% and accuracy 65%.
video source: Ortho EVAL Pal With Paul Marquis
>> Return to the list of Orthopedic Tests of the Shoulder
Other tests for rotator cuff pathology:
- Empty Can (Supraspinatus) Test
- Hawkins Test / Hawkins-Kennedy Impingement Test
- Neer Impingement Test
- Painful Arc Test
- Hornblower’s Test (Hornblower’s Sign or Patte Test)