Napoleon test

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Napoleon test2016-11-23T19:19:02+00:00
Napoleon test image from New Medical Terms


Napoleon test 


A clinical test used to evaluate rotator cuff injuries; a positive Napoleon test indicates a subscapularis tear.

The term refers to Napoleon’s famous pose with his right hand placed inside his vest, painted by Jacques-Louis David, Napoleon in His Study 

Napoleon test technique

The patient’s hand is placed flat on their abdomen with the hand, wrist and elbow in a straight line, then presses down on the abdomen


Positive sign Patient can press on the belly only by flexing the wrist 90°

Intermediate sign  Wrist flexed 30°-60° indicates partial function of subscapularis

Negative sign  Wrist remains at 0° while pressing on belly, indicates normal subscapularis function 

Synonym Napoleon sign

Reference Burkhart SS, Arthroscopy 2002;18:454

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