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Empty Can Test

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Other Names

Empty Can Test
Demonstration of empty can test[1]
  • Supraspinatus Test
  • Jobe's Test
  • Jobes Test



  • Patient can be seated or standing
  • Arm raised/abducted to 90 degrees and arms 30-45 degrees from midline
  • Shoulder internally rotated, thumbs pointed to floor
  • Physician applies downward force at the wrist/forearm while the patient resists
  • Positive test
    • Pain or weakness



Rotator Cuff Pathology

  • Sensitivity: 41-89%[2]
  • Specificity: 50-90%[3]
  • Positive LR: 1.78-4.20[4]
  • Negative LR: 0.22-0.63

See Also


  1. Image courtesy of mobilephysiotherapyclinic.in. "Empty can test of shoulder"
  2. Holtby R, Razmjou H. Validity of the supraspinatus test as a single clinical test in diagnosing patients with rotator cuff pathology. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2004;34:194-200.
  3. Itoi E, Kido T, Sano A, Urayama M, Sato K. Which is more useful, the “full can test” or the “empty can test,” in detecting the torn supraspinatus tendon? Am J Sports Med. 1999; 27:65-68.
  4. Park HB, Yokota A, Gill HS, El Rassi G, McFarland EG. Diagnostic accuracy of clinical tests for the different degrees of subacromial impingement syndrome. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2005; 87:1446-1455.
Created by:
John Kiel on 9 July 2019 13:28:15
Last edited:
8 August 2023 00:35:37