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Concept: Physical examination


A 63-year-old man presented with a 6-month history of fatigue, weight loss, and gingival bleeding. Physical examination suggested the presence of a massively enlarged spleen, a finding confirmed on a reconstructed coronal CT image of the abdomen.

Concepts: Cancer, Blood, Leukemia, Spleen, Chronic myelogenous leukemia, Physical examination, Splenomegaly, Hairy cell leukemia


The present study tested the hypothesis that recall of receiving physical activity (PA) advice would be associated with higher levels of PA in patients with a diagnosis of colorectal cancer (CRC).

Concepts: Present, Time, Cancer, Colorectal cancer, Physical examination


Personally controlled health management systems (PCHMS), which include a personal health record (PHR), health management tools, and consumer resources, represent the next stage in consumer eHealth systems. It is still unclear, however, what features contribute to an engaging and efficacious PCHMS.

Concepts: Psychology, Physical examination, Control, Electronic health record, Medical informatics, Personal health record, Personal, Health management system



Inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation have been the 4 pillars of clinical bedside medicine. Although these basic methods of physical examination have served us well, traditional bedside examination, for a number of reasons including diminishing interest and expertise, performs well less than what is required of a modern diagnostic strategy. Improving the performance of physical examination is vital given that it is crucial to guide diagnostic possibilities and further testing. Current efforts at improving physical examination skills during medical training have not been very successful, and incorporating appropriate technology at the bedside might improve its performance. Selective use of bedside ultrasound (or insonation) can be one such strategy that could be incorporated as the fifth component of the physical examination. Seeing pathology through imaging might improve interest in physical examination among trainees, and permit appropriate downstream testing and possibly superior decision making. Current ultrasound technology makes this feasible, and further miniaturization of ultrasound devices and reduced cost will allow for routine use at the bedside. It is time to have a wider debate and a possible consensus about updates required to enhance current paradigms of physical examination.

Concepts: Medicine, Medical diagnosis, Physical examination, Heart sounds, Appropriate technology, Palpation, Inspection, Percussion


Although surgical treatment of nail conditions can be traced back centuries to the writings of Paul Aegineta (625-690 AC), little is known about the physical laws governing nail growth. Such a poor understanding together with the increasing number of nail salons in the high street should raise legitimate concerns regarding the different procedures applied to nails. An understanding of the physics of nail growth is therefore essential to engage with human medicine and to understand the aetiology of nail conditions. In this context, a theory of nail plate adhesion, including a physical description of nail growth can be used to determine the transverse and longitudinal curvatures of the nail plate that are so important in the physical diagnosis of some nail conditions. As a result physics sheds light on: (a) why/how nails/hooves adhere strongly, yet grow smoothly; (b) why hoof/claw/nail growth rates are similar across species; © potential nail damage incurred by poor trimming; (d) the connection between three previously unrelated nail conditions, i.e. spoon-shaped, pincer and ingrown nails and; last but not least, (e) why ingrown nails occur preferentially in the big toes.

Concepts: Medicine, Understanding, Science, Medical diagnosis, Philosophy of science, Knowledge, Physical examination, Nail disease


Study Design Groin pain is common in athletes participating in multidirectional sports and has traditionally been considered a difficult problem to understand, diagnose, and manage. This may be due to sparse historical focus on this complex region in sports medicine. Until recently, there was no agreement regarding terminology, definitions, and classification of groin pain in athletes. This has made clear communication between clinicians difficult, and the results of research difficult to interpret and implement into practice. However, during the past decade the field has evolved rapidly, and an evidence-based understanding is now emerging. This clinical commentary discusses the clinical examination (subjective history, screening, physical examination); imaging; testing of impairments, function, and performance, and; management of athletes with groin pain in an evidence-based framework. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, Epub 6 Mar 2018. doi:10.2519/jospt.2018.7850.

Concepts: Medicine, Medical diagnosis, Problem solving, Physical examination, Mental status examination, Medical history, Inspection, General medical examination


OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to estimate and compare the prevalence of fibromyalgia by two different methods, in Olmsted County, Minnesota. METHODS: The first method was a retrospective review of medical records of potential cases of fibromyalgia in Olmsted County using Rochester Epidemiology Project (from January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2009) to estimate the prevalence of diagnosed fibromyalgia in clinical practice. The second method was a random survey of adults in Olmsted County using the fibromyalgia research survey criteria to estimate the percentage of responders who met fibromyalgia research survey criteria. RESULTS: Of the 3,410 potential patients identified by the first method, 1,115 had a fibromyalgia diagnosis documented in the medical record by a health care provider. The age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of diagnosed fibromyalgia by this method was 1.1%. By the second method, of the 2,994 people who received the survey by mail, 830 (27.6%) responded and 44 (5.3%) met fibromyalgia research survey criteria. The age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of fibromyalgia in the general population of Olmsted County by this method was estimated at 6.4%. CONCLUSION: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the rate at which fibromyalgia is being diagnosed in a community. This is also the first report of prevalence as assessed by the fibromyalgia research survey criteria. Our results suggest that patients, particularly men, who meet the fibromyalgia research survey criteria are unlikely to have been given a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. © 2012 by the American College of Rheumatology.

Concepts: Health care, Health care provider, Medicine, Statistics, Physical examination, Medical history, Rochester, Minnesota, Olmsted County, Minnesota


BACKGROUND: There are several methods that may be used to confirm the status of rib cartilage, such as physical examinations or chest radiography, for subjects with microtia. However, these methods are limited because of clinicians' inability to gain accurate information about the rib cartilage. We performed 3-dimensional chest computed tomography to preoperatively evaluate the accuracy of rib cartilage imaging. METHODS: A total of 37 patients preparing for auricular reconstruction using a rib cartilage graft underwent preoperative 3-dimensional rib cage computed tomography (3-D rib CT). The 3-D rib CT was performed in cases of secondary revisional reconstruction, those with a history of surgery using rib cartilage, in those with a history of trauma related to the rib cage, older patients with question of calcification of rib cartilage, or those with a suspected rib cartilage anomaly on physical examination. Preoperatively, the appropriateness of using the rib cartilage were evaluated. RESULTS: With the aid of the 3-D rib CT, successful autogenous auricular reconstruction was achieved in 36 patients. Framework fabrication in combination with a porous polyethylene implant and autogenous rib cartilage was performed in the remaining patient as planned preoperatively. By analyzing the 3-D rib CT image preoperatively, auricular reconstruction using a recycled rib cartilage graft with newly harvested rib cartilage was performed successfully in 13 of 14 secondary revisional cases. Based on preoperative CT images, modified surgical planning in terms of cartilage harvest and framework fabrication was needed in 8 of 11 patients who had a history of operation using rib cartilage and in 3 of 5 subjects with suspected rib cage anomalies on physical examination. Successful reconstruction was achieved using the modified surgical plan. CONCLUSIONS: A preoperative 3-D rib CT helps in surgical planning for autogenous auricular reconstruction for microtia, especially in patients with suspicious rib cartilage status.

Concepts: Hospital, Surgery, Medical imaging, Radiography, Tomographic reconstruction, Tomography, Physical examination, Human rib cage


SUMMARY:: Acute compartment syndrome (ACS) after trauma is often the result of increased size of the damaged tissues after acute crush injury or from reperfusion of ischemic areas. It usually is not solely caused by accumulation of free blood or fluid in the compartment, although that can contribute in some cases. There is no reliable and reproducible test that confirms the diagnosis of ACS. A missed diagnosis or failure to cut the fascia to release pressure within a few hours can result in severe intractable pain, paralysis, and sensory deficits. Reduced blood circulation leads to oxygen and nutrient deprivation, muscle necrosis, and permanent disability. Currently, the diagnosis of ACS is made on the basis of physical examination and repeated needle sticks over a short time frame to measure intracompartmental pressures. Missed compartment syndromes continue to be one of most common causes of malpractice lawsuits. Existing technology for continuous pressure measurements are insensitive, particularly in the deep tissues and compartments, and their use is restricted to highly trained personnel. Newer concepts of the pathophysiology accompanied by new diagnostic and therapeutic modalities have recently been advanced. Among these are the concept of inflammatory mediators as markers and anti-inflammatories as medical adjunct therapy. New diagnostic modalities include near-infrared spectroscopy, ultrafiltration catheters, and radio-frequency identification implants. These all address current shortcomings in the diagnostic armamentarium that trauma surgeons can use. The strengths and weaknesses of these new concepts are discussed to allow the trauma surgeon to follow current evolution of the field.

Concepts: Inflammation, Causality, The Canon of Medicine, Surgery, Syndromes, Necrosis, Physical examination, Compartment syndrome