Anterior Drawer of the Shoulder

 Anterior Drawer of the Shoulder

What is Anterior Drawer test of the shoulder?

How it’s Performed?

Read Also: Lachman Test

What does a positive Anterior Drawer Test mean?

Anterior Drawer test of the shoulder considered positive in these situation:

  1. The relative motion between the immobilized scapula and the anteriorly displaced humerus is a measure of anterior instability and can be specified in degrees.
  2. Occasional audible clicking with or without pain can indicate an anterior labral defect.

Sensitivity & Specificity

A study by Adam J Farber 1 for a clinical assessment of three common tests for traumatic anterior shoulder instability (apprehension test, relocation test and  anterior drawer test), he found that anterior drawer test (when pain does not prevent it from being performed) is helpful for diagnosing traumatic anterior instability. The accuracy was as following:


Read Also: Anterior Shoulder Instability
Anterior shoulder dislocation
Anterior Shoulder Dislocation


  1. Farber AJ, Castillo R, Clough M, Bahk M, McFarland EG. Clinical assessment of three common tests for traumatic anterior shoulder instabilityJ Bone Joint Surg Am. 2006;88(7):1467-1474. doi:10.2106/JBJS.E.00594. PMID: 16818971.
  2. Hovelius L, Eriksson K, Fredin H, et al: Recurrences after initial dislocation of the shoulder. J Bone Joint Surg [Am] 65:343–349, 1983.
  3. Rowe CR, Sakellarides HT: Factors related to recurrences of anterior dislocations of the shoulder. Clin Orthop 20:40, 1961.
  4. Warner JJP, Micheli LJ, Arslanian LE, et al: Patterns of flexibility, laxity, and strength in normal shoulders and shoulders with instability and impingement. Am J Sports Med 18:366–375, 1990.
  5. Clinical Tests for the Musculoskeletal System 3rd Edition.
  6. Dutton’s Orthopaedic Examination, Evaluation, And Intervention 3rd Edition.

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