Purpose: To assess for radial collateral ligament insufficiency of the elbow.
Test Position: Sitting.
Performing the Test: The patient is instructed to sit with forearms supinated and arms abducted greater than shoulder width. Next have the patient fully extend their elbows. A positive test is if apprehension occurs with terminal extension of the involved elbow or reluctance to push through arms.
Importance of Test:According to Neumann, the lateral collateral ligament complex of the elbow involves the radial collateral ligament and the lateral (ulnar) collateral ligament. Both parts have a common attachment to the lateral epicondyle. The RCL blends with the annular ligament, while the lateral (ulnar) collateral ligament attaches to the supinator crest of the ulna. They help resist varus forces and also provide posterolateral stability. With posterolateral instability, apprehension is felt with external rotation of the forearm due to increased risk of subluxation of the humeroulnar and humeroradial joints.
Note: these tests should only be used by properly trained health care practitioners
References: Neumann, Donald."Kinesiology of the Musculoskeletal System: Foundations for Rehabilitation." 2nd edition. St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier, 2010. 180-181. Print.