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Gerber test

The Gerber test is a very useful test for complete subscapularis injuries, but is not as effective for partial injuries.


  • Required material: No specific material is required.
  • Procedure: With the shoulder in full internal rotation and the hand placed on the back as shown in the illustration, the subject is asked to separate the hand from the back and hold it apart for a few seconds.
  • Assessment: The test is considered abnormal or positive if the subject is unable to separate the hand from the back. On the other hand, if the subject is able to separate the hand from the back the test is considered normal or negative.


  • Remarks: The separation of the hand from the back in subjects with limited internal rotation of the shoulder should be assessed with caution, as there may be a subscapularis lesion and be able to separate the hand from the back by performing elbow extension by a triceps muscle action. In addition, the latissimus dorsi muscle may mask possible subscapularis injuries by acting as an internal rotator.

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