Supination Lift Test

Original Editors - Fitim Cami

Top Contributors - Fitim Cami, Rachael Lowe, Evan Thomas and Wanda van Niekerk


This test helps to determine whether pathology is presented in the triangular fibrocartilage complex . The ‘‘Supination Lift Test’’ has also been described for localized tear to the peripheral, dorsal Triangular fibrocartilage complex. With this test, pain is reproduced when the patient attempts to lift the examination table with the palm flat on the underside of the table, This forces a load across the TFCC with the wrist supinated and extended, causing dorsal impingement, and is useful in the diagnosis of peripheral, dorsal TFCC tear[1]


The patient places his/her palms on the undersurface of a table and attempts to lift. Onset of pain upon stabilizing body weight indicates a positive supination Lift test[2]
This will also result in pain or clicking if the TFCC is involved[3]

Key Research

Mikic looked at 180 wrist joints in 100 cadavers, ranging in age from fetuses to 94 years.He demonstrated that degeneration of the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) begins in the third decade of life and progressively increases in frequency and severity in subsequent decades. After the fifth decade of life, he noted no normal appearing TFCCs[4]



  1. Buterbaugh GA, Brown TR, Horn PC. Ulnar-sided wrist pain in athletes. Clin SportsMed (Level of evidence: D)
  2. Ahn, A. K., Chang, D., & Plate, A. M. (2006). Triangular fibrocartilage complex tears: A review. Bulletin of the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases: (Level of evidence: A1)
  3. Palmer AK, Werner FW. Triangular fibrocartilage complex of the wrist: anatomy and function. J Hand Surgery (Level of evidence: D)
  4. Mikic ZD. Age changes in the triangular fibrocartilage of the wrist joint. J Anat. Jun 1978 (Level of evidence: C)