There are of course a number of papers looking at the same thing but I saw this one recently.
Yuen, Chi Kit, Ka Leung Mok, and Pui Gay Kan. “The Validity of 9 Physical Tests for Full-Thickness Rotator Cuff Tears After Primary Anterior Shoulder Dislocation in ED Patients..” The American Journal of Emergency Medicine 30, no. 8: 1522–1529. doi:10.1016/j.ajem.2011.12.022. PMID 22386341
Great study question – in shoulder dislocation can we pick up full thickness tears at 10 day follow up using clinical exam?
- ultrasound by the trained EPs as gold standard – this could easily be questioned both in terms of training and in terms of modality – is MRI better?
- the big problem was the EPs doing the ultrasound were the same guys who did the exam – there was no blinding here so you can effectively find what you want to.
- 50 pts over 4 years (another problem…)
- 40% had a tear
- they conclude that the empty can test was the best – which is nice because that’s what I’ve been doing.
- even at that sens was 90% and spec 55% for the empty can.
Desptite the obvious weaknesses of the paper tears are common and contribute to morbidity so they’re worth looking for
Here’s a video of the empty can test just as a refresher
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