A New Pain Provocation Test for Superior Labral Tears of the Shoulder

Authors: Kou Mimori, Takeshi Muneta, Teruhiko Nakagawa and Kenichi Shinomiya

References: Am J Sports Med. 27:137-142 (1999)

We prospectively evaluated the usefulness of a new pain provocation test to diagnose superior labral tears in 32 patients with diagnosed throwing injuries of the shoulder. Results of the pain provocation test were compared with findings on magnetic resonance arthrography (all 32 patients) and arthroscopic examination (15 patients). In 22 patients, detachment of the superior labrum was observed on arthrograms, and all of them had positive results on the new pain provocation test. Nine of the other 10 patients had negative results on the new pain provocation test. However, 1 of the 10 patients had a positive result. Eleven of 15 patients were found to have superior labral lesions arthroscopically, and all of them were classified as type II superior labral anterior posterior lesions. All the 11 patients had positive pain provocation tests. The other four patients without superior labral tears on arthroscopic findings had negative results on the new pain provocation test. The new pain provocation test identified all patients with detachment of the superior labrum confirmed by magnetic resonance arthrography, for a sensitivity of 100%, a specificity of 90%, and an accuracy of 97%. Results of the new pain provocation test were in accord with arthroscopic findings in the 15 patients who underwent arthroscopic examination.

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