Quick Guide in History Taking and Physical Examination

Musculoskeletal System Examination

Author(s): Nasser Ghaly Yousif*, Najah R. Hadi* and Fadhil G. Alamran * .

Pp: 151-176 (26)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815196894123010008

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


The musculoskeletal system constitutes a demanding part of the physical examination in terms of both knowledge and time. The skillful examiner focuses this critical task through information obtained in a careful history. The examiner should take the opportunity to observe the patient’s posture and mobility when he or she first enters the examination room. Musculoskeletal exam nearly exclusively relies on inspection and palpation of the joints and some specialized tests involving those techniques. Rarely do percussion and auscultation play a role in the musculoskeletal exam. The key features to note and record on the examination of the joints are swelling, tenderness, and loss of motion. 

Keywords: Bone, Cartilage, Connective tissues, Muscle, Tendons.

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