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Rotator Cuff Signs: Empty Can Test

supraspinatus-lateral1
supraspinatus

The supraspinatus is the most commonly injured rotator cuff muscle.  It originates from the shoulder blade passes laterally beneath the acromion and attaches onto the humerus.

The supraspinatus stabilizes the shoulder joint and allows one to raise their arm in a plane similar to a jumping jack.

The empty can test assesses the supraspinatus for instability and the presence of tears.  The test is conducted as follows:

empty-can-test

The patient raises his arm to 90 degrees and angles the arm forward 30 degrees at the shoulder joint.  The shoulder is then internally rotated as if pouring a can on the floor.  Resistance is applied looking for weakness or pain. The test is positive if there is significant pain or weakness or resistance.

Rotator cuff tears that do not respond to physical therapy can be treated with expanded stem cells.  At Regenexx patients use their own stem cells to repair damaged tendons, ligaments, bones and cartilage.

 

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