Hawkins Kennedy impingement test is of shoulder impingement. It identifies impingement of greater tuberosity of humerus against the coracohumeral ligament, trapping all the intervening structures which include the supraspinatus muscle, teres minor muscle, and the infraspinatus muscle.
The test was first described in the 1980s Drs. R. Hawkins and J. Kennedy, American physicians
It is also popularly called Hawkins test.
The Hawkins test is considered to be a highly sensitive test.
However, studies have reported that Hawkins Kennedy impingement test is less reliable than the Neer impingement test which is another popular test for shoulder impingement.
Position of Patient
The test is done in the sitting position or standing position.
Hawkins Kennedy Impingement Test Details.
With patient sitting, elbow is flexed at ninety degrees, while it is 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 then quickly moves the arm into internal rotation.
If the 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
Interpretation and Diagnostic Value of Hawkins Test
Hawkins test has a sensitivity between 62-92% whereas specificity is 25 to 100 percent. Thus the test is overall more sensitive than specific.
A negative Hawkins test almost always means that impingement is absent.
A clinically positive test, on the other hand, suggests that there is the likelihood of shoulder impingement.
As noted before, Neer impingement test is said to be better than Hawkins Kennedy Impingement Test.
This likelihood increases manifold when the test findings are evaluated along with the other two tests, namely painful Arc Sign and Infraspinatus Test.