Source: Robert E. Sallis, MD. Kaiser Permanente, Fontana, California, USA
The ankle and foot provide the foundation for the body and the stability needed for upright posture and ambulation. Because of its weight-bearing function, the ankle joint is a common site of injury among athletes and in the general population. Ankle injuries occur as a result of both acute trauma and repetitive overuse (such as running). The ankle is a fairly simple joint, consisting of the articulation between the distal tibia and talus of the foot, along with the fibula on the lateral side. The ankle is supported by numerous ligaments, most notably the deltoid ligament on the medial side, and laterally by three lateral ligaments: the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL), the calcaneofibular ligament (CFL), and the posterior talofibular ligament (PTFL).
Physical examination of the ankle and the patient history (including the mechanism of the injury and the location of pain) provide diagnostic information that helps the physician to pinpoint specific structures involved in an injury, and are essential for determining the severity of the injury and the subsequent diagnostic steps. When examining the ankle, it is important to closely compare the injured ankle to the uninvolved side. Essential components of the ankle exam i…
Physical Examinations III
Source:Tracey A. Milligan, MD; Tamara B. Kaplan, MD; Neurology, Brigham and Women's/Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
A complete sensory examination consists of testing primary sensory modalities as well as cortical sensory function. Primary sensory modalities include pain, temperature, light touch, vibration, and joint position sense. Sensation of the face is discussed in the videos Cranial Nerves Exam I and II, as are the special senses of smell, vision, taste, and hearing. The spinothalamic tract mediates pain and temperature information from skin to thalamus. The spinothalamic fibers decussate (cross over) 1-2 spinal nerve segments above the point of entry, then travel up to the brainstem until they synapse on various nuclei in thalamus. From the thalamus, information is then relayed to the cortical areas such as the postcentral gyrus (also known as the primary somatosensory cortex). Afferent fibers transmitting vibration and proprioception travel up to medulla in the ipsilateral posterior columns as fasciculus gracilis and fasciculus cuneatus, which carry information from the lower limbs and upper limbs, respectively. Subsequently, the afferent projections cross over and ascend to the thalamus, and from there to the primary somatosensory cortex.
The pattern of a…
Physical Examinations III