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Hornblowers Sign

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Other Names

Hornblowers Sign
Demonstration of normal hornblower's sign[1]
  • Hornblower's Sign
  • Patte Test
  • Hornblower's Test



  • The patient is seated or standing
  • Examiner passively flexes elbow to 90°, abducts arm to 90°
  • The patient is asked to hold the arm in this position
  • Positive test
    • Arm falls into internal rotation and patient unable to maintain position


  • Alternatively, the examiner can ask the patient to externally rotate against resistance when in position



Rotator Cuff Tear

  • Walch et al[2]
    • Sensitivity: 100%
    • Specificity: 93%
    • LR+: 14.29
    • LR-: 0

See Also


  1. Charalambous, Charalambos Panayiotou. "Clinical examination of the shoulder." The Shoulder Made Easy. Springer, Cham, 2019. 77-122.
  2. Walch G, Boulahia A, Calderone S, Robinson AHN. The 'dropping' and 'hornblower's' signs in evaluation of rotator cuff tears. 1998; 80: 624-28.
Created by:
John Kiel on 17 January 2020 19:56:25
Last edited:
26 August 2023 14:50:20