Multidirectional Shoulder Instability (MDI) Clinical Examination [Physical Therapist Guide]

By dpope2020

May 17, 2024

dan pope, dislocated shoulder, fitness pain free, multidirectional instability, multidirectional shoulder instability, multidirectional shoulder instability mdi, multidirectional shoulder instability test, physical therapy, physiotherapy, shoulder dislocation, Shoulder instability, shoulder instability apprehension test, shoulder instability test, Shoulder Pain, shoulder rehab, tests for shoulder pain

Multidirectional Shoulder Instability (MDI) Clinical Examination [Physical Therapist Guide]

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In today's video we go over Multidirectional Shoulder Instability (MDI) Clinical Examination [Physical Therapist Guide]:

Struggling to diagnose multidirectional instability (MDI) in the shoulder? This video dives deep into the latest criteria & the most effective tests to confidently identify MDI in your patients. Here's what you'll learn:

  • How MDI differs from simple laxity & why instability matters
  • When MDI typically occurs & the potential causes
  • Identifying the "tell-tale" signs of MDI, including scapular movement patterns
  • Performing key diagnostic tests: sulcus sign, drawer tests (20 & 100 degrees), & anterior/posterior apprehension tests
  • A breakdown of the recent Watson (2022) criteria for MDI diagnosis


  • Laxity vs. Instability: (0:10)
  • Congenital vs. Acquired: (0:42)
  • Most Common Age Group: (1:12)
  • Predominant Instability: (1:23)
  • Altered Scapular Motion: (1:56)
  • Diagnostic Criteria: (4:22)
  • Inferior Sulcus Sign: (5:19)
  • Anterior and Posterior Drawer in 20 degrees Abduction: (5:57)
  • Anterior and Posterior Drawer in 100 degrees Abduction: (6:23)
  • Anterior and Posterior Apprehension Tests: (6:43)
  • Diagnostic Criteria Summary: (7:06)

Unstable everywhere!!!


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  1. Watson L, Pizzari T, Balster S, Lenssen R, Warby SA. Advances in the Non-Operative Management of Multidirectional Instability of the Glenohumeral Joint. J Clin Med. 2022 Aug 31;11(17):5140. doi: 10.3390/jcm11175140. PMID: 36079068; PMCID: PMC9456769.