A 55 year old woman presents with rheumatoid arthritis presents with monoarticular joint pain in her left knee for the past 3 days. She has a low-grade fever of 100.2 F and a significantly warm and tender knee. “It feels different than my RA flare.”
“Distracting injury” is a frequent cited reason for imaging the cervical spine in blunt trauma patients, per the NEXUS study. In the Journal of Trauma in 2005 and 2011, studies aimed to narrow the definition of “distracting injury”. Although both are studies at different sites, both conclude the same:
- Chest injuries may be considered “distracting injuries” because of their proximity to the cervical spine.
Low back pain is one of the most common chief complaints that we see in the Emergency Department. In addition to the examination of the back and distal neurovascular function, we also need to test for evidence of a radiculopathy (compression or inflammation of a nerve root typically from a herniated disk). Because most disk herniations occur at the L4-L5 and L5-S1 level, you should test for irritation of the L4-S1 nerve roots. This is the sciatic nerve.
We commonly see patients with shoulder dislocations in the Emergency Department. There are a myriad of approaches in relocating the joint, which includes scapular rotation, Snowbird, and Kocher maneuvers.
I recently stumbled upon the Cunningham technique after hearing about it from Dr. Graham Walker (of MDCalc fame) on TheCentralLine.org.
Fingertips can get injured in a variety of ways such as machetes, meat grinders, and broken glass. You name it, and we’ve probably seen it. Some don’t actually need anything invasive done because the skin is basically just torn off. The wound just needs to be irrigated, explored, and then bandaged to allow for secondary wound closure.
What do you do if the finger injury keeps oozing and the finger tip is too painful for the patient to apply firm pressure? Poking the finger with 2 needles to perform a digital block seems a bit overkill.
How many times have you had to look up the shoulder exam maneuvers for patients with acute shoulder pain? I don’t know why I just can’t seem to remember these.
This Paucis Verbis card is a quick reference card to remind you of the most common techniques. Thanks to Jenny for the idea.
We’ve all seen it before while working in the ED. A parent brings in their child because they pulled on their arm, and now the child is not using it. Parents are thoroughly convinced that the child’s arm is either broken or dislocated. We all recognize this as radial head subluxation or “nursemaid’s elbow” and immediately attempt to reduce it. The provider takes the injured arm, supinates at the wrist and flexes at the elbow. Does the child scream? What if nothing happens?
Is there an alternative technique to reducing a nursemaid elbow?