Clinical Evaluation of Impingement: What To Do and What Works

Authors: Edward G. McFarland, Harpal Singh Selhi, and Ekavit Keyurapan

References: J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2006;88:432-441


The clinical evaluation of a patient with anterior and lateral shoulder pain presents a diagnostic challenge for the practitioner for a variety of reasons. However, by following several basic tenets of physical examination, the diagnosis can be made accurately in most cases. The physical findings may vary depending on the etiology of the pain, and the practitioner should consider a labral lesion, internal impingement, and coracoid impingement in the differential diagnosis. As our knowledge of these pathological processes evolves, the clinical usefulness of the physical findings of an examination should become more clear. Future study of the many etiologies of the entity that has been previously called "impingement syndrome" is warranted.

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