Indication

Load and Shift Test is a shoulder examination used to assess anterior and posterior instability.

Procedure:

  1. Patient seated with arm in dependent position.
  2. Examiner applies pressure over humerus to “load” the GH joint while stabilizing shoulder, examiner then moves the shoulder anterior, posterior & anterior.
Load and Shift test for shoulder

Patient seated with arm in dependent position. Examiner applies pressure over humerus to “load” the GH joint while stabilizing shoulder, examiner then moves the shoulder anterior, posterior & anterior.

Interpretation:

Positive Excessive translation (should be <25% anteriorly or <50% posteriorly) → Shoulder instability.
Positive Local Pain → rotator cuff ligament/tendon damage.

Clinical notes:

A palpable click or clunk may be noted as the humerus subluxates in & out of the glenoid fossa.