The musculoskeletal (MSK) examination confirms the diagnostic impression and lays the foundation for the physiatric treatment plan. It incorporates inspection, palpation, passive and active ROM, assessment of joint stability, manual muscle testing, joint-specific provocative maneuvers, and special tests (Table 1.8).
What is included in a musculoskeletal assessment?
To assess the musculoskeletal system, you carefully inspect your patient, examining the symmetry of the joints, muscles, and bones and checking for swelling, redness, and ease of movement. Then you palpate over the joints, noting any areas of warmth or tenderness.
What is the purpose of musculoskeletal examination?
The musculoskeletal exam helps to identify the functional anatomy associated with clinical conditions, thereby differentiating the underlying system involved and could correctly point towards the condition helping in early diagnosis and intervention.
How do you perform a musculoskeletal assessment?
Palpate and assess range of motion (ROM) and muscle strength:
- Gently palpate bones, joints, muscles, and surrounding tissue for heat, swelling, stiffness, tenderness, or crepitation.
- Ask the patient to move major joints (knees, shoulders, hips, and ankles) through the expected ROM movements.
What are some questions to ask during a musculoskeletal assessment?
History of Present Illness
- Date of onset and type of onset (suddenly or slowly).
- Location of pain: (joints, muscles, soft tissues)
- Presence of swelling* (before and now)
- Subsequent course (progressive, intermittent or remittent).
- Present status (better, same or worse).
- Impact on their lives.
What are the major steps of a musculoskeletal examination?
To perform an examination of the muscles, bones, and joints, use the classic techniques of inspection, palpation, and manipulation.
What are the most common tests used to diagnose musculoskeletal system disorders?
Various types of imaging tests can help doctors diagnose musculoskeletal disorders.
- X-rays. X-rays are typically done first. …
- Bone scanning. …
- Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) …
What are the common signs and symptoms associated with musculoskeletal system disorders?
Musculoskeletal pain affects bones, joints, ligaments, tendons or muscles. An injury such as a fracture may cause sudden, severe pain.
Common symptoms include:
- Aching and stiffness.
- Burning sensations in the muscles.
- Muscle twitches.
- Pain that worsens with movement.
- Sleep disturbances.
What do nurses use to assess the musculoskeletal system?
A common method of evaluating muscle strength is the Medical Research Council Manual Muscle Testing Scale. This method involves testing key muscles from the upper and lower extremities against gravity and the examiner’s resistance and grading the patient’s strength on a 0 to 5 scale.