Lippman Test

What is Lippman Test?

The Lippman test is used to detect pathology in the long head of the biceps tendon. It is performed by palpating the long head of the biceps tendon within the bicipital groove between the greater and lesser tuberosity of the humerus. The bicipital groove lies 3 cm distal to the glenohumeral joint.

How the Lippman test is performed?

  • The examiner first palpates the long head of the biceps tendon within the bicipital groove. The examiner places the thumb of his right hand on the long head of the biceps tendon and the fingers of the right hand on the back side of the shoulder as shown in the video below.
  • Now after that, the examiner flexes the patient’s elbow into 90 degrees of flexion with his left hand.
  • After that, the examiner passively externally and internally rotates the patient’s shoulder or arm with his left hand.

Test Results

A positive test is indicated by pain and or increased lateral laxity of the long head of the biceps tendon.

Diagnostic Accuracy

The diagnostic accuracy of just pain on palpation is not reliable and therefore it is recommended to use other biceps tests to help confirm the diagnosis.

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Abbott Saunders Test – Indicates subluxation of the long head of the biceps tendon.

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Pelvic Ligament Tests – used for the assessment of the pelvic ligaments.

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

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