Which is more useful, the "full can test" or the "empty can test," in detecting the torn supraspinatus tendon?

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Akita University, Akita, Akita, Japan
The American Journal of Sports Medicine (Impact Factor: 4.36). 01/1999; 27(1):65-8. DOI: 10.1177/03635465990270011901
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to determine the clinical usefulness of the full can and empty can tests for determining the presence of a torn supraspinatus tendon. The two tests were performed in 143 shoulders of 136 consecutive patients. In each test, the muscle strength was determined by manual muscle testing, and the presence of pain during the maneuver was recorded. We interpreted the tests as positive when there was 1) pain, 2) muscle weakness, or 3) pain or muscle weakness or both. Shoulders were examined by high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging with 95% accuracy for full-thickness rotator cuff tears. There were 35 shoulders with full-thickness tears of the supraspinatus tendon. The accuracy of the tests was the greatest when muscle weakness was interpreted as indicating a torn supraspinatus tendon in both the full can test (75% accurate) and the empty can test (70% accurate). However, there was no significant difference between the accuracy of the tests when this criterion was used. Pain was observed in 62 shoulders (43%) during the full can test and in 71 shoulders (50%) during the empty can test, but the difference was not statistically significant. Muscle weakness should be interpreted as indicative of supraspinatus tendon tear. Using this indicator, both tests are equivalent in terms of accuracy, but considering pain provocation, the full can test may be more beneficial in the clinical setting.

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    • "Nos résultats rejoignent ceux de la littérature pour affirmer que le test de Jobe est plus sensible que spécifique. Seule la VPN (22,2 %) paraıˆt inférieure a ` celles affichées par Noel et al. [23] et Itoi et al. [22]. La manoeuvre de Patte a e ´té e ´valuée, dans le travail de Walch [7], avec pour critère de référence la rupture tendineuse. "
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    ABSTRACT: Déterminer la valeur diagnostique des différents tests tendineux et du conflit sous-acromial à travers une confrontation : examen clinique versus échographie de l’épaule.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal de Réadaptation Médicale Pratique et Formation en Médecine Physique et de Réadaptation
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    • "Reinold et al. suggested that increased activity of the middle deltoid during the empty-can exercise relative to the full-can exercise may lead to a superiorly directed shear force of humeral head, which can cause pain or discomfort [18]. Additionally, Itoi et al. showed that both the empty-can and full-can tests are equivalent with regard to accurately diagnosing muscle weakness; however, when considering pain provocation, the full-can test may be more beneficial in the clinical setting [20]. Otis et al. showed that the upper subscapularis had a significant role in arm elevation in the scapular plane [15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background There has been much controversy over specific tests for diagnosis of supraspinatus tendon tear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the metabolic activity of the deltoid and rotator cuff muscles while maintaining the full-can and empty-can testing positions using 2-deoxy-2-[18¿F]fluoro-D-glucose (18¿F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT).Methods Ten healthy volunteers without shoulder pain or diabetes mellitus participated in this study. Following FDG injection, both arms were maintained in either the empty-can or full-can position for 10 min. PET/CT was performed 40 min after injection. Maximum standardized uptake values (SUVs) were measured in the deltoid and rotator cuff muscles on axial PET images.ResultsThe middle deltoid exhibited the most significant increase in muscle activity at both testing positions. Additionally, a significant increase in muscle activity was observed in the middle deltoid compared with the supraspinatus (P¿<¿0.05) in the empty-can testing position. SUVs of the middle deltoid, supraspinatus, and subscapularis showed a significant increase in the empty-can testing position compared with the full-can testing position (P¿<¿0.05).Conclusions Significantly increased activity of the supraspinatus in conjunction with the middle deltoid and subscapularis after empty-can testing may result in decreased specificity of the empty-can test in detecting isolated supraspinatus activity. The full-can test, however, may be used to test the function of the supraspinatus with the least amount of surrounding middle deltoid and subscapularis activity.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research
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    • "A tear of the supraspinatus tendon can be detected by the empty-can test (Fig. 8) [11] or full-can test (Fig. 9) [12]. The accuracy of the tests was the greatest when muscle weakness was interpreted as indicating a torn supraspinatus tendon in both the full-can test (75 % accurate) and the empty-can test (70 % accurate) [13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Rotator cuff tear is one of the most common shoulder diseases. It is interesting that some rotator cuff tears are symptomatic, whereas others are asymptomatic. Pain is the most common symptom of patients with a tear. Even in patients with an asymptomatic tear, it may become symptomatic with an increase in tear size. Physical examination is extremely important to evaluate the presence, location, and extent of a tear. It also helps us to understand the mechanism of pain. Conservative treatment often works. Patients with well-preserved function of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus are the best candidates for conservative treatment. After a successful conservative treatment, the symptom once disappeared may come back again. This recurrence of symptoms is related to tear expansion. Those with high risk of tear expansion and those with less functional rotator cuff muscles are less likely to respond to conservative treatment. They may need a surgical treatment.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Journal of Orthopaedic Science
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