The Evaluation of Joint Trauma
We would all like to thank Dr. Richard C. Schafer, DC, PhD, FICC for his lifetime commitment to the profession. In the future we will continue to add materials from RC’s copyrighted books for your use.
This is Chapter 1 from RC’s best-selling book:
“Upper Extremity Technic”
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Chapter 1 The Evaluation of Joint Trauma
Profiling disorders of the musculoskeletal system begins with a complete history and physical examination. A detailed history that covers the patient’s present ailment, clinical history, birth circumstances, and family background are inevitably significant.
The physical examination of a distressed joint generally includes inspection, bony palpation, soft-tissue palpation, determining the passive and active range of motion, testing muscle integrity and strength, testing superficial and deep reflexes, and investigating associated areas. Other investigative procedures are employed as necessary for the clinical picture at hand.
One function of joints is to transmit stress when stabilized by musculature. This stabilization is necessary so that muscles can achieve their maximum leverage for motion. Joints are usually overstressed from a direct blow leading to connective-tissue contusion and possible intra-articular fracture.
A slipped growth plate may occur in the young. The blow is often an unexpected one where protective mechanisms have not been put in force, or it may be so excessive that protective mechanisms fail. This is because the stability of synovial joints is primarily established by action of surrounding musculature.
Common Signs and Symptoms
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