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Tibial Nerve: The medial terminal branch of the sciatic nerve. The tibial nerve fibers originate in lumbar and sacral spinal segments (L4 to S2). They supply motor and sensory innervation to parts of the calf and foot.
 Science Education: Essentials of Physical Examinations III

Motor Exam I

JoVE Science Education

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.

 Science Education: Essentials of Physical Examinations III

Sensory Exam

JoVE Science Education

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

 JoVE Cancer Research

Intra-iliac Artery Injection for Efficient and Selective Modeling of Microscopic Bone Metastasis

1Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center, Baylor College of Medicine, 2Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, 3Graduate Program in Developmental Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, 4Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, 5McNair Medical Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, 6Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine


JoVE 53982

 Science Education: Essentials of Physical Examinations III

Foot Exam

JoVE Science Education

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

The foot is a complex structure composed of numerous bones and articulations. It provides flexibility, is the essential contact point needed for ambulation, and is uniquely suited to absorb shock. Because the foot must support the weight of the entire body, it is prone to injury and pain. When examining the foot, it is important to remove shoes and socks on both sides, so that the entire foot can be inspected and compared. It is important to closely compare the injured or painful foot to the uninvolved side. The essential parts of the evaluation of the foot include inspection, palpation (which should include vascular assessment), testing of the range of motion (ROM) and strength, and the neurological evaluation.

 JoVE Neuroscience

Kinematics and Ground Reaction Force Determination: A Demonstration Quantifying Locomotor Abilities of Young Adult, Middle-aged, and Geriatric Rats

1CullenWebb Animal Neurology & Ophthalmology Center, Riverview, NB, 2Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3Department of Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine, University of Calgary, 4Department of Neuroscience, University of Calgary


JoVE 2138

 Science Education: Essentials of Physical Examinations III

Motor Exam II

JoVE Science Education

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

There are two main types of reflexes that are tested on a neurological examination: stretch (or deep tendon reflexes) and superficial reflexes. A deep tendon reflex (DTR) results from the stimulation of a stretch-sensitive afferent from a neuromuscular spindle, which, via a single synapse, stimulates a motor nerve leading to a muscle contraction. DTRs are increased in chronic upper motor neuron lesions (lesions of the pyramidal tract) and decreased in lower motor neuron lesions and nerve and muscle disorders. There is a wide variation of responses and reflexes graded from 0 to 4+ (Table 1). DTRs are commonly tested to help localize neurologic disorders. A common method of recording findings during the DTR examination is using a stick figure diagram. The DTR test can help distinguish upper and lower motor neuron problems, and can assist in localizing nerve root compression as well. Although the DTR of nearly any skeletal muscle could be tested, the reflexes that are routinely tested are: brachioradialis, biceps, triceps, patellar, and Achilles (Table 2). Superficial reflexes are segmental ref

 Science Education: Essentials of Physical Examinations III

Lower Back Exam

JoVE Science Education

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

The back is the most common source of pain in the body. Examination of the back can be a challenge due to its numerous structures, including the bones, discs, ligaments, nerves, and muscles-all of which can generate pain. Sometimes, the location of the pain can be suggestive of etiology. The essential components of the lower back exam include inspection and palpation for signs of deformity and inflammation, evaluation of the range of motion (ROM) of the back, testing the strength of the muscles innervated by the nerves exiting in the lumbar-sacral spine, neurological evaluation, and special tests (including the Stork test and Patrick's test).

 JoVE Cancer Research

In Vivo Model for Testing Effect of Hypoxia on Tumor Metastasis

1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology, Georgetown University Medical Center, 2Department of Nursing, Georgetown University, School of Nursing and Health Studies, 3Department of Human Science, Georgetown University, School of Nursing and Health Studies, 4School of Medicine, Georgetown University Medical Center, 5Department of Pathology and Neuropathology, Medical University of Gdańsk, 6Department of Oncology, Georgetown University Medical Center, 7Department of Pathology, Georgetown University Medical Center


JoVE 54532

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 JoVE In-Press

A Rat Tibial Growth Plate Injury Model to Characterize Repair Mechanisms and Evaluate Growth Plate Regeneration Strategies

1Department of Bioengineering, Department of Orthopedics, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, 2Department of Orthopedics, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, 3Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 4Department of Orthopedics, Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

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JoVE 55571

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 Science Education: Essentials of Physical Examinations III

Knee Exam

JoVE Science Education

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

The knee is a hinged joint that connects the femur with the tibia. It is the largest joint in the body, and due to its location in the middle of the lower leg, it is subjected to a variety of traumatic and degenerative forces. Examination of the knee can be quite complex, owing to the fact it is an inherently unstable joint held together by various ligaments and supported by menisci, which act as shock absorbers and increase the contact area of the joint. In addition, the patella lies in front of the knee, acting as a fulcrum to allow the forceful extension of the knee needed for running and kicking. As the largest sesamoid bone in the body, the knee is a common source of pain related to trauma or overuse. When examining the knee, it is important to remove enough clothing so that the entire thigh, knee, and lower leg are exposed. The exam begins with inspection and palpation of key anatomic landmarks, followed by an assessment of the patient's range of motion (ROM). The knee exam continues with tests for ligament or meniscus injury and special testing for patellofemoral dysfunction and dislocation of the patella. The opposite knee should be used as the standard to evaluate the injured knee, provided it has not been previousl

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 JoVE Medicine

Computerized Dynamic Posturography for Postural Control Assessment in Patients with Intermittent Claudication

1Discipline of Exercise and Sport Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, 2Department of Sport, Health and Exercise Science, University of Hull, 3Academic Vascular Department, Hull Royal Infirmary, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals, 4Department of Vascular Surgery, Addenbrookes Hospital


JoVE 51077

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 JoVE Neuroscience

In Vitro Recording of Mesenteric Afferent Nerve Activity in Mouse Jejunal and Colonic Segments

1Laboratory of Experimental Medicine and Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Antwerp, 2Visceral Pain Group, Discipline of Medicine, University of Adelaide, 3Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sheffield, 4Department of Pharmacy, Pharmacology and Postgraduate Medicine, University of Hertfordshire, 5Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Antwerp University Hospital


JoVE 54576

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 Science Education: Essentials of Physical Examinations III

Cranial Nerves Exam I (I-VI)

JoVE Science Education

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

During each section of the neurological testing, the examiner uses the powers of observation to assess the patient. In some cases, cranial nerve dysfunction is readily apparent: a patient might mention a characteristic chief complaint (such as loss of smell or diplopia), or a visually evident physical sign of cranial nerve involvement, such as in facial nerve palsy. However, in many cases a patient's history doesn't directly suggest cranial nerve pathologies, as some of them (such as sixth nerve palsy) may have subtle manifestations and can only be uncovered by a careful neurological exam. Importantly, a variety of pathological conditions that are associated with alterations in mental status (such as some neurodegenerative disorders or brain lesions) can also cause cranial nerve dysfunction; therefore, any abnormal findings during a mental status exam should prompt a careful and complete neurological exam. The cranial nerve examination is applied neuroanatomy. The cranial nerves are symmetrical; therefore, while performing the examination, the examiner should compare each side to the other. A physician should approach the examination in a

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 JoVE Bioengineering

Using Microfluidics Chips for Live Imaging and Study of Injury Responses in Drosophila Larvae

1Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, 3Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan, 4Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, 5Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan


JoVE 50998

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 Science Education: Essentials of Physical Examinations III

Cranial Nerves Exam II (VII-XII)

JoVE Science Education

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

The cranial nerve examination follows the mental status evaluation in a neurological exam. However, the examination begins with observations made upon greeting the patient. For example, weakness of the facial muscles (which are innervated by cranial nerve VII) can be readily apparent during the first encounter with the patient. Cranial nerve VII (the facial nerve) also has sensory branches, which innervate the taste buds on the anterior two-thirds of the tongue and the medial aspect of the external auditory canal. Therefore, finding ipsilateral taste dysfunction in a patient with facial weakness confirms the involvement of cranial nerve VII. In addition, knowledge of the neuroanatomy helps the clinician to localize the level of the lesion: unilateral weakness of the lower facial muscles suggests a supranuclear lesion on the opposite side, while lesions involving the nuclear or infranuclear portion of the facial nerve manifest with an ipsilateral paralysis of all the facial muscles on the involved side. Cranial nerve VIII (the acoustic nerve) has two divisions: the hearing (cochlear) division and the vestibular division, which innervates the semi

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