Watson Test (Scaphoid Shift Test)

 Watson Test (Scaphoid Shift Test)

What is Watson Test (Scaphoid Shift Test)?

The scaphoid shift Test (Watson Test) examines the dynamic stability of the wrist, in particular the integrity of the scapholunate ligament (it detects abnormal motion between the scaphoid and the lunate).

How it’s Performed?

What does a positive Watson Test (Scaphoid Shift Test) mean?

Sensitivity & Specificity

A descriptive study by LaStayo1 for provocative tests used in evaluating wrist pain and compare retrospectively the results of these tests with the arthroscopic findings of three independent hand surgeons, he found that the Sensitivity & Specificity of Watson Test (Scaphoid Shift Test) was as folowing:


Scaphoid shift is a provocative maneuver rather than a test, because it does not offer a simple positive or negative result, but rather a variety of findings, with emphasis being on asymmetry on bilateral examination.

Perilunate Dislocation


  1. P LaStayo, J Howell: Clinical provocative tests used in evaluating wrist pain: a descriptive study. J Hand Ther . Jan-Mar 1995;8(1):10-7. doi: 10.1016/s0894-1130(12)80150-5. PMID: 7742888
  2. Wolfe SW, Gupta A, Crisco JJ III: Kinematics of the scaphoid shift test. J Hand Surg Am 22A:801–806, 1997
  3. Clinical Tests for the Musculoskeletal System 3rd Edition.
  4. Dutton’s Orthopaedic Examination, Evaluation, And Intervention 3rd Edition.

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