Abbott Saunders Test

What is the Abbott Saunders Test?

The Abbott-saunders test indicates subluxation (partial dislocation) of the long head of the biceps tendon in the bicipital groove. The biceps muscle is also known as the biceps brachii muscle.

The Biceps muscle is located in the front part of the upper arm. The Biceps muscle comprises a “long head” and a “short head” that works or functions as a single muscle.

The biceps muscle is attached to the bones of the arm via tough connective tissue called tendons. The tendons that link the biceps muscle to the shoulder joint in 2 locations are referred to as the proximal biceps tendon.

The tendon that connects the biceps muscle to the forearm bones (radius and ulna) is referred to as the distal biceps tendon.

The Procedure for Performing the Abbott Saunders Test

Position of the patient – The patient will be in a seated position.

Position of the examiner – The examiner will stand behind the patient.

  • The examiner will externally rotate and abduct the patient’s arm to about 120 degrees.
  • Now, the examiner will slowly lower the arm from this position.
  • Now the examiner will guide or lead this motion of the patient’s arm with one hand while resting the other hand on the patient’s shoulder and palpating the bicipital groove with the middle or index finger.


Test Results of the Abbot Saunders Test

The pain in the area of the bicipital groove or an audible or palpable snap indicates a disorder of the long head of the biceps tendon (subluxation sign).

An inflamed bursa (subscapular or subcoracoid bursa) can also cause snapping.

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Clinical Tests for the Musculoskeletal System: Examinations-Signs-Phenomena by K. Buckup

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