Signs of Deltoid Dysfunction From Axillary Nerve Palsy

I have a case of axillary neuritis with excessive pain. Below can be used to demonstrate deltoid weakness.

Since 1994, signs of deltoid dysfunction have been put forward and modified. below are the tests.

1) The swallow sign – inability to bring arm fully back ( more test posterior deltoid)

  • Sign of axillary Nerve Palsy
  • “Palsy of the accessory nerve, rotator cuff rupture,  or palsy of the suprascapular nerve were able to extend the shoulder fully when the axillary nerve was intact.”
  • 20 degree + difference is significant


2) Deltoid extension lag test – arms are brought back like above and ability to hold it there monitored:

deltoid extension test

3) Abduction in Internal Rotation Test:


4) Not as specific but a newer test – Akimba test:


Positive test show cannot do akimbo:


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