Hornblower Sign

 Hornblower Sign

What is Hornblower sign?

See Also: Rotator Cuff of the Shoulder

How it’s Performed?

Hornblower Sign

What does a positive Hornblower sign mean?

Sensitivity & Specificity

A study by G Walch1 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.

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