Examination Revision Notes
The ability to examine joints is key in formulating a list of likely differential diagnoses and often can almost be diagnostic for certain conditions. It is also very important in determining what the next step is diagnosis will be; usually imaging of some description. Joint examination follows the Apley system of examination. Watch the video below to introduce this system and learn it so should your mind go blank in an examination (particularly OSCEs) then you know the sequence to fall back on. Then read the document reinforcing the system of examination.
The GALS screen was developed as a quick and sensitive test in identifying significant abnormalities of the musculoskeletal system. It is often used as an initial inquiry, before focussing attention on a particular joint or disability.
There are a number of recognisable gait patterns each of which may signify a number of underlying pathologies. This is often the very first part of the examination as the patient walks into the clinic room and is a key part of all lower limb examinations including the lumbar spine.