AOASM Publication - Osteopathic Clinical Joint Exam
The Osteopathic Clinical Joint Exam textbook (Stockard, 2010) is intended to present a comprehensive approach to musculoskeletal complaints by detailing the basic exam using both osteopathic and orthopedic techniques in a concise way with the goal of arriving at a differential diagnosis based on (history and) clinical exam alone. This was the type of medicine practiced by our Osteopathic forefathers before the advent of sophisticated diagnostic modalities such as Computerized Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or ultrasound, and physicians became excellent clinicians as a result.
In today's medical and political climate, attempts at controlling medical costs are applauded, but the real winners are the patients who receive a good, thorough physical examination by a competent Osteopathic physician. Treatment options come more immediately to mind when certain conditions are ruled in or out based on the office exam, thereby drastically curtailing the need for costly diagnostic procedures. The sooner treatment begins without the delays of further testing, the sooner the patient benefits.
This text outlines the basic anatomy (a good refresher is always helpful), and the exam itself, followed by a list of the common conditions seen in clinical practice, and finally, by a list of conditions that shouldnever be missed due to an incomplete exam. This will give the medical student, resident, or practicing physician a basis for decision-making, as well as ahandbook that will, hopefully, provide invaluable information to all clinicians who encounter patients with musculoskeletal complaints.
Treatments and diagnostic tests are intentionally omitted as this is a text devoted exclusively to physical diagnosis. New and improved diagnostic modalities and even treatment options may come and go, but a good, thorough physical exam will always endure in medicine, and should never be supplanted by a machine.
The contributing authors were specifically chosen due to their years of involvement in Osteopathic medical education and sports medicine, and because of the dedication to teaching.