Medical Lectures

Joint Exam for Primary Care

Read about Mayo Clinic’s seminar on the use of physical exams to identify musculoskeletal conditions that you can take for free with GIBLIB. Evaluate some of the most common joint complaints by rediscovering the keys to a great physical exam.
March 31, 2022
Aaron Krych, MD; Sanjeev Kakar, MD; David Soma, MD; Kristina Colbenson, MD; Christopher Camp, MD; Elena Jelsing, MD; Kelechi Okoroha MD

Hello, my name is Aaron Krych, an orthopedic surgeon and current co-chair of Sports Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. We would like to welcome you to the Mayo Clinic Musculoskeletal Exam CME course. 

For me, a good physical exam is absolutely vital to getting the correct diagnosis and treatment for musculoskeletal conditions. However, our clinics have become busier and busier, and we often find ourselves interfacing with our computers more than our patients. For me, the physical exam has really become a lost art in this environment. 

I am passionate about rediscovering the keys to a great physical exam, helping to emphasize the importance of putting the patients first. Too many times I think we rely on X-ray or MRI to make the diagnosis for us when literally the answer is right there at our fingertips with our patients. In discussing with my primary care colleagues, they see many patients with musculoskeletal conditions. In fact, about one in five appointments at an outpatient clinic is for musculoskeletal conditions. 

Therefore, I've heard loud and clear the need for an efficient, yet effective physical examination. I've identified several of my colleagues, many of whom are award-winning educators, to share their insights and demonstrate a thorough, yet efficient musculoskeletal exam for the evaluation of the most commonly seen joint complaints. 

In this course, we'll cover examinations of the shoulder, the elbow, the hand and wrist, the back, the hip and pelvis, the knee, the foot and ankle, the traumatic joint examination, a full telehealth examination, as well as concussion. We want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to share our experience with you. We hope that you learn from this group of outstanding educators and enjoy the course. 

Watch the full digital course from Mayo Clinic and learn more about physical exam demonstrations today! Click on any link of your choice to start watching.

  • Introduction to Physical Exam Demonstrations

A brief introduction to the seminar on the use of physical exams to identify musculoskeletal conditions and the examinations that will be covered in each segment.

  • Hand and Wrist Physical Exam Demonstration

Sanjeev Kakar, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at Mayo  Clinic, gives a thorough overview of hand and wrist anatomy. Dr. Kakar details how to approach examining the hand and wrist utilizing a sequential systematic method of dividing the anatomy into sections and evaluating the skin, tendons, arteries, nerves, and applicable dynamic maneuvers in each area.

Learning Objectives: Recall pertinent anatomy of the hand and wrist; Describe the S.T.A.N.D. approach to examine the hand and wrist.

  • Concussion Exam Demonstration

David Soma, MD, a pediatrician and sports medicine specialist, and Eric Crowley, L.A.T., A.T.C., a clinical athletic trainer and concussion specialist at Mayo Clinic, discuss how to approach concussion evaluation.

Learning Objectives: Recall key information to obtain for a concussion evaluation; List tools available for concussion evaluation; Recall the key benefits of creating individual plans for patients to return to normal activity after a concussion.

  • The Acute Traumatic Muscular-Skeletal Exam for Primary Physicians

Kristina Colbenson, MD, demonstrates a differential-based approach to the acute traumatic musculoskeletal exam for primary care clinicians. Dr. Colbenson approaches each joint rooted in the framework of the expected differential and the What-Not-To-Miss pathologies.

Learning Objectives: Recall the importance of identifying the 5 key causes of pain and effusion; Describe a disciplined algorithmic approach to acute traumatic musculoskeletal exams.

  • Elbow Physical Exam Demonstration

Christopher Camp, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at Mayo Clinic, demonstrates a complete and comprehensive approach to the general elbow exam. Dr. Camp breaks it down into five key components including elbow range of motion testing followed by exams targeting the anterior, lateral, posterior, and medial aspects of the elbow.

Learning Objectives: Recall the five key components of a general elbow exam.

  • Foot and Ankle Physical Exam Demonstration

Elena Jelsing, MD, a physiatrist and sports medicine specialist at Mayo Clinic, demonstrates how to perform a comprehensive foot and ankle exam. Dr. Jelsing covers gait analysis, inspection, range of motion and strength testing, palpation, and special tests.

Learning Objective: Recall the main components of a comprehensive foot and ankle exam.

  • Knee Physical Exam Demonstration

Kelechi Okoroha MD, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at Mayo Clinic, demonstrates an efficient yet detailed exam of the knee including a gait assessment, visual inspection, palpation, range of motion, and strength testing, finishing with special tests.

Learning Objectives: Recall the main components of an efficient knee exam.

  • Hip Physical Exam Demonstration

Aaron Krych, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at Mayo Clinic, demonstrates an efficient hip exam. He emphasizes the importance of location, location, location when deciphering the source of your patient's hip pain. He'll cover 5 key aspects including the seated exam, supine exam, lateral exam, prone exam, and what to look for when your patient walks.

Learning Objectives: Recall key components of an efficient hip exam; Indicate five different areas of the hip exam; Recall the importance of location to an effective history for the hip exam.

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