A site for medical students - Practical,Theory,Osce Notes

Examination of a joint an OSCE guide

  1. Expose the Joint and the muscles acting on It.
  2. Observe and note any deformity, swelling or muscle atrophy.
  3. Palpate the Joint for synovial thickening, warmth, points of tenderness and any abnormal masses.
  4. Elicit fluid thrill if swelling is present.
  5.  Assess passive and active range of Joint movement.
  6. Palpate during movement to elicit Joint crepitus.
  7. Test the ligaments that stabilise the Joint.
  8. Compare the two sides.
Fluid thrill indicates effusion while a 'boggy feel" without a fluid thrill indicates synovial thickening. At times both may be present.

This is important for those students preparing for USMLE and MRCP