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Median Nerve: A major nerve of the upper extremity. In humans, the fibers of the median nerve originate in the lower cervical and upper thoracic spinal cord (usually C6 to T1), travel via the brachial plexus, and supply sensory and motor innervation to parts of the forearm and hand.

Wrist and Hand Examination

JoVE 10242

Source: Robert E. Sallis, MD. Kaiser Permanente, Fontana, California, USA

The wrist is a complex joint made up of 8 carpal bones and their numerous articulations and ligaments. Overlying the wrist are the tendons and muscles of the hand and fingers. The hand is made up of 5 metacarpal bones, and the tendons that run to the hand overlie these bones. Finally, the fingers consist of 14 phalanges with their articulations held together by collateral ligaments and volar plates. Common mechanisms of both acute and chronic wrist injury include impact, weight bearing (which can occur in gymnastics), twisting, and throwing. Osteoarthritis of the hand commonly affects distal interphalangeal (DIP) and proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints, while rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is seen in the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) and PIP joints. It is important to compare the injured wrist or hand to the uninvolved side. Key aspects of the wrist and hand exam include inspection, palpation for tenderness or deformity, testing the range of motion (ROM) and strength, neurovascular assessment, ligaments and tendon testing, and the special tests.


 Physical Examinations III

Motor Exam I

JoVE 10052

Source:Tracey A. Milligan, MD; Tamara B. Kaplan, MD; Neurology, Brigham and Women's/Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Abnormalities in the motor function are associated with a wide range of diseases, from movement disorders and myopathies to strokes. The motor assessment starts with observation of the patient. When the patient enters the examination area, the clinician observes the patient's ability to walk unassisted and the speed and coordination while moving. Taking the patient's history provides an additional opportunity to observe for evidence of tremors or other abnormal movements, such as chorea or tardive dyskinesia. Such simple but important observations can yield valuable clues to the diagnosis and help to focus the rest of the examination. The motor assessment continues in a systematic fashion, including inspection for muscle atrophy and abnormal movements, assessment of muscle tone, muscle strength testing, and finally the examination of the muscle reflexes and coordination. The careful systematic testing of the motor system and the integration of all the findings provide insight to the level at which the motor pathway is affected, and also help the clinician to formulate the differential diagnosis and determine the course of the subsequent evaluation and treatment.


 Physical Examinations III

Elbow Exam

JoVE 10207

Source: Robert E. Sallis, MD. Kaiser Permanente, Fontana, California, USA

The elbow is a hinged joint that involves the articulation of 3 bones: the humerus, radius, and ulna. It is a much more stable joint than the shoulder, and because of that, the elbow has less range of motion. The elbow and its structures are prone to significant injuries, particularly with repetitive motion. Lateral and medial epicondylitis (also called tennis elbow and golfer's elbow) are two common diagnoses and often occur as a result of occupational activities. When examining the elbow, it is important to remove enough clothing so that the entire shoulder and elbow can be inspected. It is important to compare the injured elbow to the uninvolved side. A systematic evaluation of the elbow includes inspection, palpation, range of motion (ROM) testing, and special tests, including maneuvers to evaluate ligamentous stability and stretch tests to accentuate pain caused by epicondylitis.


 Physical Examinations III

Sensory Exam

JoVE 10113

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

Objective Nociceptive Assessment in Ventilated ICU Patients: A Feasibility Study Using Pupillometry and the Nociceptive Flexion Reflex

1Multidisciplinary Pain Center, Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Antwerp University Hospital (UZA), University of Antwerp (UA), 2Multidisciplinary Pain Center (PCT), Antwerp University Hospital (UZA), 3Critical Care Medicine, Antwerp University Hospital (UZA), University of Antwerp (UA)

JoVE 57972


 Medicine

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