Shoulder Abduction Test (Bakody Test)

Shoulder Abduction Test (Bakody Test) is used for  suspicion of C4 or C5 nerve root irritation.
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 Shoulder Abduction Test (Bakody Test)

What is Shoulder Abduction Test (Bakody Test)?

  • Shoulder Abduction Test (Bakody Test) is used for  suspicion of C4 or C5 nerve root irritation.

  • It can also be used for thoracic outlet syndrome.

How it's Performed?

  • The patient sits or lies supine.
  • Make an active or passive abduction of the shoulder, flex the elbow, and place the palm of the hand on the top of the patient head.

What does a positive Shoulder Abduction Test (Bakody Test) mean?

  • Shoulder Abduction Test (Bakody Test) is counted as positive if the symptoms of nerve root irritation improve or resolve because abduction of the arm decreases the tension of the nerve roots.
  • Which roots are affected can be determined by clinical findings (dermatome distribution).
  • The C4–C6 nerve roots are primarily examined in this test.
  • If the nerve root irritation increases during the course of the above test, one must suspect a thoracic outlet syndrome (due to changes in the scalene muscles or to a cervical rib).

Sensitivity & Specificity

  • Sensitivity: 43-50%
  • Specificity: 80-100%


  • Medscape
  • Clinical Tests for the Musculoskeletal 3rd Ed. Book

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