Assessing Musculoskeletal Pain
The body is constantly sending signals about its health. One of the most easily recognized signals is pain. Musculoskeletal conditions comprise one of the leading causes of severe long-term pain in patients. The musculoskeletal system is an elaborate system of interconnected levers that provide the body with support and mobility. Because of the interconnectedness of the musculoskeletal system, identifying the causes of pain can be challenging. Accurately interpreting the cause of musculoskeletal pain requires an assessment process informed by patient history and physical exams.
In this Discussion, you will consider case studies that describe abnormal findings in patients seen in a clinical setting. Also, your Discussion post should be in the Episodic/Focused SOAP Note format, rather than the traditional narrative style Discussion posting format. See the template. Remember that all Episodic/Focused SOAP notes have specific data included in every patient case.
Case 3: Knee Pain
A 15-year-old male reports dull pain in both knees. Sometimes one or both knees click, and the patient describes a catching sensation under the patella. In determining the causes of the knee pain, what additional history do you need? What categories can you use to differentiate knee pain? What are your specific differential diagnoses for knee pain? What physical examination will you perform? What anatomic structures are you assessing as part of the physical examination? What special maneuvers will you perform?
With regard to the case study you were assigned:
- Review this week’s Learning Resources, and consider the insights they provide about the case study.
- Consider what history would be necessary to collect from the patient in the case study you were assigned.
- Consider what physical exams and diagnostic tests would be appropriate to gather more information about the patient’s condition. How would the results be used to make a diagnosis?
- Identify at least five possible conditions that may be considered in a differential diagnosis for the patient.
- Postan episodic/focused note about the patient in the case study to which you were assigned using the episodic/focused note template provided in week 5 resources.
- Provide evidence from the literature to support diagnostic tests that would be appropriate for each case.
- List five different possible conditions for the patient’s differential diagnosis and justify why you selected each.