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Full Can and Empty Can Test

At 1:05 minute mark, instructor means to say 'Empty Can' instead of 'Full Can'. 

Sensitivity, Specificity
Validity, Reliability
Likelihood Ratio +/-
Full Can Test
This test assesses for supraspinatus pathology.
Patient is seated or standing with arm raised in the scapular plane to 30-45 degrees (some authors suggest 90 degreed[1]) with shoulder externally rotated. The therapist applies a downward force just proximal to the patient’s wrist while the patient resists. Test is positive if it elicits pain and/or weakness.
With pain
44%to 100%
Sensitivity with weakness
Specificity with pain
50%to 99%
Specificity with weakness

[1] Magee DJ. Orthopedic Physical Assessment: 5th Edition. St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier;2008.

Sensitivity, Specificity
Reliability Validity
Likelihood Ratio +/-
Empty Can/ Supraspinatus Test
A positive test indicates a tear to the supraspinatus tendon or muscle and can also indicate a neuropathy of the suprascapular nerve.
The patient actively abducts the arm to 90 degrees with the thumbs up which makes the full can position. The examiner then provides downward pressure on the arm to test the patient’s strength. The patient then elevates the arms to 90 degrees and horizontally adducts 30 degrees to the scapular plane with thumbs down to the empty can position. The examiner provides downward pressure to test the patient’s strength in this position. A positive test for rotator cuff tear is more weakness in the empty can, patient complaint of pain, or both.
Sensitivity= 413-894
LR+ =
LR- =

1.       Magee DJ.  Orthopedic Physical Assessment. 5th ed. St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier; 2008.
2.       Cook CE, Hegedus EJ. Orthpoedic Physical Examination Tests: An Evidence-Based Approach. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hal; 2008.
3.       Holtby R, Razmjou H. Validity of the supraspinatus test as a single clinical test in diagnosing patients with rotator cuff pathology. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2004;34:194-200.
4.       Itoi E, Kido T, Sano A, Urayama M, Sato K. Which is more useful, the “full can test” or the “empty can test,” in detecting the torn supraspinatus tendon? Am J Sports Med. 1999; 27:65-68.
5.       Park HB, Yokota A, Gill HS, El Rassi G, McFarland EG. Diagnostic accuracy of clinical tests for the different degrees of subacromial impingement syndrome. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2005; 87:1446-1455.
6.       Ostor AJ, Richards CA, Prevost AT, Hazleman BL, Speed CA. Interrater reproducibility of clinical tests for rotator cuff lesions. Ann Rheum Dis. 2004; 63:1288-1292.