Hornblower Sign

orthopedic telegram channel orthopedic facebook page
 Hornblower Sign

What is the Hornblower sign?

Hornblower sign (or as it called Patte Test) is used to test for Teres Minor or Infraspinatus muscle pathology of the rotator cuff (external rotators of the shoulder).

See Also: Rotator Cuff of the Shoulder

How do you do the Hornblower test?

What does a positive Hornblower sign mean?

It considered Positive if the patient’s arm falls into internal rotation indicating a tear of the Teres Minor muscle or Infraspinatus muscle.

Hornblower Sign

Sensitivity & Specificity

A study by G Walch 1 on 54 patients operated on for combined supraspinatus and infraspinatus rotator-cuff tears, the Hornblower sign’s Sensitivity & Specificity were as following:


Hornblower Sign

Related Anatomy

Teres minorInfraspinatus
OriginInferior scapulaDorsal scapula
InsertionHumerus (medial ITG)Humerus (GT)
ActionAdducting, internally rotating, extending armProviding stability, externally rotating arm
InnervationLower subscapular nerveSuprascapular nerve
teres minor anatomy
Teres minor & Infraspinatus muscle anatomy


  1. Walch G, Boulahia A, Calderone S, Robinson AH. The dropping and Hornblower’s signs in evaluating rotator cuff tears. J Bone Joint Surg (Br). 1998;80:624–8. PMID: 9699824.
  2. Nitin B. Jain, MD, MSPH, Reginald Wilcox, PT, Jeffrey N. Katz, MD, MS, and Laurence D. Higgins, MD. Clinical Examination of the Rotator Cuff. PM R. 2013 Jan; 5(1): 10.1016/j.pmrj.2012.08.019. PMID: 23332909.
  3. Clinical Tests for the Musculoskeletal System, Third Edition book.
  4. Mark Dutton, Pt . Dutton’s Orthopaedic Examination, Evaluation, And Intervention, 3rd Edition Book.
  5. Millers Review of Orthopaedics, 7th Edition Book.

Share with Friends:

Read Also:

Related Tests

Posterior Stress Test

Posterior Stress Test (or Posterior Apprehension sign) of the shoulder is used to test for Posterior Instability.

Hawkins Kennedy test

Hawkins Kennedy test (Hawkins test) is used for impingement syndrome of the rotator cuff of the shoulder, it…

Shoulder Lock Test

The Shoulder Lock test is used to help differentiate the cause of symptoms when the patient complains of…

See Also:

Latest from Orthofixar

Forearm Muscles Anatomy

The forearm muscles, wrist, and hand can be subdivided into 19 intrinsic muscles and 24 extrinsic muscles.

Radial Nerve Entrapment

A number of radial nerve entrapments are recognized and are named according to the location at which they…

Skeletal Traction

Skeletal Traction is a temporary treatment method used in emergency department in some type of lower extremity fractures.

Pronator Teres Syndrome

Pronator Teres Syndrome (PTS) is a compression of the median nerve in the arm/ forearm. It's more common…

Special Tests App

Special Test Application
Special Test Application