Common Elbow Tests in Orthopedic Examination

The following is a list of the many common tests used by physical therapists / physiotherapists and other orthopedic/orthopaedic practitioners when examining the elbow. The tests will eventually have links to descriptions of the tests as well as video demonstrations. If you know of a test that should be included in this list, please let us know.

By Anatomist90 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Anatomist90 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
The elbow joint is made up of three bones; the humerus of the upper arm and the radius and ulna of the lower arm (forearm). It is a synovial hinge joint. The movements of the joint are flexion, extension, pronation and supination.  The elbow is one of the most commonly dislocated joints in the body. The following is a list of some of the many special tests that have been developed for the elbow.

Orthopedic Special Tests for the Elbow

  • Cozen’s Test (Lateral Epicondylitis)
  • Golfer’s Elbow Test (Medial Epicondylitis)
  • Mill’s Test
  • Passive Tennis Elbow Test
  • Pinch Grip Test
  • Tinel’s Sign
  • Valgus Stress Test
  • Varus Stress Test

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