Name of test

Forearm supination

What it tests

Passive motion assesses the radiocapitellar joint of the elbow. If passive motion is normal, then active motion assesses the function of the biceps and supinator.

How to do it

"Shake hands" with the patient and by grasping the hand, take the forearm from full pronation to full supination. Repeat against resistance.

The normal response

Full and pain free. Power should be greater when the elbow is flexed (as the biceps is in a better position to work).

What it means if not normal

Weakness may mean the biceps is torn. Pain at the shoulder with this maneuver suggests a problem with the labrum or origin of the short head of the biceps



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