The Watson’s Test is a wrist examination procedure that identifies scaphoid activity and degenerative joint disease of the radioscaphoid. It is known as a provocative test which determines the stability of the scaphoid and to reproduce the patient’s symptoms for prompt intervention.
- Patient should be seated during the procedure. The afflicted arm should be rested with the elbow on a table.
- The examiner should sit across the table facing the patient. The examiner places his thumb on the palmar side of the scaphoid while his other fingers are wrapped on the back of the wrist at the distal part of the radius.
- The examiner places pressure on the scaphoid using his thumb, his other hand is at the patient’s hand along the metacarpal level.
- The examiner then moves the scaphoid anteriorly and posteriorly.
- The examiner takes note of any pain, crepitis or laxity during the procedure.
Positive Watson’s Test
There is positive Watson’s Test when there is pain, laxity or crepitis during the procedure. This could indicate instability of the scaphoid or possible radioscaphoid degenerative joint disease or DJD.
Watson’s Test is quite similar to the Scaphoid Stress Test however, in the Scaphoid Stress Test the examiner tells the patient to radially deviate his wrist while the distal region of the scaphoid is stabilized