Hawkins Kennedy Impingement Test

Hawkins Kennedy impingement test is of shoulder impingement. It identifies impingement of greater tuberosity against the coraco- humeral ligament, trapping and structures which intervene. Hawkins Kennedy impingement test  was described in the 1980’s and was interpreted as indicative of impingement between the greater tuberosity of the humerus against the coraco- humeral ligament, trapping all those structures which intervene.

However studies have reported that Hawkins Kennedy impingement test  is  less reliable than the Neer impingement test.


The test is done in sitting position or standing position.

Hawkins Kennedy Impingement Test

With patient sitting, the the arm and elbow is flexed at to 90°, supported by the examiner. The examiner then stabilizes proximal to the elbow with their outside hand and with the other holds just proximal to the patient’s wrist. It is then quickly move the arm into internal rotation.hawkins-kennedy-impingement-test

If patient feels pain located to the sub-acromial space, the test is considered positive.

There is enough data to suggest that clinically positive Hawkin’ s sign is consistent with external shoulder impingement.

Here is a video showing Hawkins Kennedy Test For Shoulder Impingement test


Diagnostic Test Properties for Hawkins Kennedy Impingement Test


Sensitivity   0.62 – 0.92
Specificity   0.25 – 1.00
Positive Likelihood Ratio   1.20 – 3.33
Negative Likelihood Ratio   0.21 – 0.55

As noted before, Neer impingement test is said to be better than Hawkins Kennedy Impingement Test.

Neer test is performed by placing the arm in forced flexion with the arm fully pronated . The scapula should be stabilized during the maneuver to prevent scapulothoracic motion. Pain with this maneuver is a sign of subacromial impingement.

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