A Proposed Evidence Based Shoulder Special Testing Examination Algorithm: Adaptation of a Reference Standard Nicklaus Biederwolf, PT,DPT,OCS,CSCS Regis University Manual Therapy Fellowship Phoenix Orthopedic Manual Therapy September 2, 2010
Reference Standard: George Davies’ Special Testing Algorithm1 • Based on the work of George Davies, PT, DPT, Med, SCS, ATC, LAT, CSCS, FAPTA • Professor Emeritus of the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse • Professor at Armstrong State University in Savannah, GA • Currently practices at Coastal Therapy in Savannah Georgia and Gundersen Lutheran Sports Medicine in La Crosse, WI
Reference Standard: George Davies’ Special Testing Algorithm1 • Testing algorithm is based on “Critical Pathways” • Pattern recognition based on clusters of signs and symptoms, subjective data, and empirical data • Implicates a specific group of special testing for a specific pathology • Statistics of notice are shown in GREEN if they are of particularly good utility and RED if they are of questionable clinical usage.
Proposed Evidence-Based Examination Algorithm for Chosen Tests • Testing for a specific condition is only indicated based on an individual’s cluster of subjective data, history, signs, and symptoms. • Pre-Test Probability is estimated at 50% for each condition based on above findings; post-test probability is calculated for chosen tests. • Statistics of notice are shown in GREEN if of particularly good utility and RED if of questionable clinical usage. • Testing is continued until a treatment threshold (or referral threshold) of 80% post-test probability is achieved (unless otherwise stated).
Likelihood Ratios • Positive Likelihood Ratio: • Sensitivity/(1-Specificity) • Shifts Pre-Test Probability in a direction that favors the existence of a disorder. • Negative Likelihood Ratio: • (1-Sensitivity)/Specificity • Shifts Pre-Test Probability in a direction that favors the absence of a disorder.
Post-Test Probability • Pre-Test Probability=50% • With use of a nonogram, +LR or –LR can be used to determine Post-Test Probability.
Davies’ Algorithm: MDI Screening1 • Critical Pathway: Performed on all patients to assess GH stability.
Proposed Screening Test • Testing Indication: Perform on all patients (if able) to rule in or rule out both intra-articular pathology and RTC pathology. Post-Test probability for ruling in and ruling out both intra-articular pathology and RTC pathology are both respectively 91.6% and 6.1%.
Test of Zaslav4 • Operational definition of RTC pathology: Findings that included a thickened or inflamed subacromial bursa, erosions on the CA ligament and undersurface of the acromion, and bursal side partial or full thickness RTC tears.4 • Operational definition of Intra-Articular pathology: Findings that included anterior glenoid erosion or labral tears, middle GH ligament tearing, articular-sided RTC partial tears, posterior labral lesions, and SLAP lesions.4
Davies’ Algorithm: SLAP Lesions1 • Critical Pathway: Macrotraumatic injury, history of eccentric deceleration activities, pain complaint is “deep” or “in” the shoulder, sensations of locking, clicking, or clunking.
Proposed SLAP Lesion Tests • Testing Indication: Intra-articular pathology per Zaslav’s test (if able) and Davies’ critical pathway cluster of signs and symptoms. Post-Test probabilities are respectively 93.75%, 93.75%, 83.3% for positive tests, and 4.8%, 4.8%, and 0.0% for negative tests.
SLAP Lesion Testing Biceps Load Test II12 Pain Provocation Test of Mimori13
Davies’ Algorithm: LHB Tendinopathy1 • Critical Pathway: History of eccentric deceleration activities, LHB is TTP, complaints of pain are in the anterior shoulder. *These currently appear to be the best statistical utility tests we have for identification of LHB tendinopathy. Post-Test probability with a + Yergason’s test is 56.8% (rule in) and with a – Speed’s test is 21.6% (rule out). Treatment threshold exception for lack of evidence is proposed to be both + tests.
Davies’ Algorithm: AC Joint Lesions1 • Critical Pathway: Age >40, macrotrauma to superior shoulder in CKC position, pain complaint is “on top” of the shoulder, AC joint is TTP, pain with horizontal adduction.
Proposed AC Joint Lesion Tests • Testing Indicated: Per Davies’ critical pathway. Post-Test probability when all three tests are positive is 80.5%.
Davies’ Algorithm: Impingement Syndrome1 • Critical Pathway: Age >40, history of overhead activities, recent unaccustomed overuse of arm, painful arc of abduction, pain with overhead activities, pain complaints in lateral shoulder, pain at night, compensatory shoulder shrug sign.
Proposed Impingement Syndrome Tests • Testing Indication: RTC pathology per Zaslav’s test (if able) and Davies’ critical pathway cluster of signs and symptoms. Post-Test probability for the TIC of the first three tests is 95.5% if all 3 are positive, and 91.0% if 2 of 3 are positive (based on reported TIC of 10.56 for 3 + tests and 5.03 for 2 + tests)18. Post-Test probability for a positive and negative Test of Zaslav are 91.6% and 6.1% to rule in and rule out impingement, respectively.
Davies’ Algorithm: RTC Tears1 • Critical Pathway: Age >40, macrotraumatic injury with major functional disabilities, idiopathic onset of major functional disabilities, painful arc of abduction, dull constant ache in shoulder, pain complaints in lateral shoulder, pain at night, compensatory shoulder shrug sign.
Proposed Tests for RTC Tears • Testing Indication: RTC pathology per Zaslav’s test (if able) and Davies’ critical pathway cluster of signs and symptoms. Post-Test probabilities are respectively (+)~100% and (-)13.0%, (+)~100% and (-)~0.0%, (+)87.7% and (-)~0.0%, (+)92.4% and (-)1.48%.
Davies’ Algorithm: Anterior Instability1 • Critical Pathway: Macrotrauma (especially in ABD and ER), repetitive microtrauma (overhead activities), history of recurrent subluxations/dislocations, complaints of “dead arm” syndrome, sensations of weakness.
Proposed Anterior Instability Tests • Testing Indication: Intra-articular pathology per Zaslav’s test (if able) and Davies’ critical pathway cluster of signs and symptoms. Post-Test probabilities are respectively 96.4% and, at worst, 80.7%.
Davies’ Algorithm: Internal Impingement Syndrome1 • Critical Pathway: Specific pain inferior to the postero-lateral acromion, pain in the cocking phase of the throwing motion. *This is the only known suggested test for internal impingement syndrome. It is hypothesized, however, that positive impingement testing and a positive Test of Zaslav for an intra-articular lesion may suggest internal impingement syndrome. Treatment Threshold exception for lack of evidence: All above subjective and objective findings.
Davies’ Algorithm: Posterior Instability1 • Critical Pathway: Macrotrauma, blunt force to anterior shoulder, volitional subluxator.
Proposed Tests for Posteroinferior Laxity and Labral Lesions • Testing Indication: Intra-articular pathology per Zaslav’s test (if able) and Davies’ critical pathway cluster of signs and symptoms. Post-Test probability for the Jerk and Kim tests are respectively 94.8% and 86.9%.
The Kim Test23 A) With the patient in a sitting position with the arm in 90° of abduction, the examiner holds the elbow and lateral aspect of the proximal arm, and a strong axial loading force is applied. B) While the arm is elevated another 45° diagonally upward, downward and backward force is applied to the proximal arm. A sudden onset of posterior shoulder pain indicates a positive test result, regardless of accompanying posterior clunk of the humeral head. During the test, it is important to apply a firm axial compression force to the glenoid surface by the humeral head.
Davies’ Algorithm: Bankart Lesions1 • Critical Pathway: Macrotrauma, anterior/inferior subluxation or dislocation, history of recurrent subluxations/dislocations, “deep” pain in the shoulder, complaints of clicking/clunking or locking.
Proposed Tests for Bankart Lesions • Testing Indication: Intra-articular pathology per Zaslav’s test (if able) and Davies’ critical pathway cluster of signs and symptoms. *Though no studies have been performed on the Clunk Test, I believe it has a high enough level of construct validity to be considered for use in examination. Post-Test probability of the Crank test is 86.7% at best and 33.3% at worst. Proposed treatment threshold are + findings in both tests, and a click/clunk in either.
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