Paucis Verbis card: Septic Arthritis

Knee PainIn the workup of monoarticular arthritis, the question that emergency physicians constantly struggle over is whether the patient has a nongonococcal septic arthritis. This joint infection alarmingly damages and erodes cartilage within only a few days.

This installment of the Paucis Verbis (In a Few Words) e-card series reviews the JAMA Rational Clinical Examination article which asks “Does this patient have septic arthritis?” Pooled sensitivities and likelihood ratios were calculated. These statistics are always helpful when trying to figure out the patients probability of having a septic joint.

(more…)

By |2019-01-28T23:40:11-08:00Jun 11, 2010|Infectious Disease, Orthopedic|

PV Card: Dermatomal and Myotomal Maps

Forget
There are some things in life which I just can’t memorize and dermatomal/myotomal maps are one of them. Weird cases of peripheral neurologic symptoms have presented to the ED in the setting of trauma and no trauma. So purely for selfish reasons, I’m making my own map to have on file.

This installment of the Paucis Verbis (In a Few Words) e-card series reviews Sensory and Motor Function Testing by Levels.

Testing Sensory Function by Level

dermatomes

Testing Motor Function by Level

  • C1-C4 Spontaneous breathing
  • C5 Shoulder abduction (deltoid)
  • C6 Wrist extension (carpi radialis longus and brevis)
  • C7 Elbow extension (triceps)
  • C8 Finger flexion (flexor digitorum superficialis/profundis, lumbricals)
  • T1 Finger adduction & abduction (dorsal/palmar interossei, abductor digiti quinti)
  • T1-T12 Intercostal and abdominal muscles
  • T12-L3 Hip flexion (iliopsoas)
  • L2-L4 Hip flexion, knee extension (quadriceps), hip adduction
  • L4 Ankle dorsiflexion and inversion (anterior tibialis)
  • L5 Big toe extension (ext hallucis longus), heel walk (ext digitorum), hip abduction (gluteus medius)
  • S1 Ankle plantarflexion and eversion (peroneus longus), toe walk (peroneus brevis), hip extension (gluteus maximus)
  • S2-S4 Rectal sphincter tone

Go to the ALiEM Cards site for more resources.
By |2019-01-28T23:40:22-08:00May 28, 2010|ALiEM Cards, Neurology, Orthopedic|

Paucis Verbis card: Ottawa knee, ankle, and foot rules

Often times, I get called to triage to help decide whether a patient should be sent to Radiology for an initial x-ray after injuring their knee, ankle, and/or foot. After teaching one of the nurses about the Ottawa rules, she taped a list of these rules on the triage wall.

This installment of the Paucis Verbis (In a Few Words) e-card series reviews Ottawa Knee, Ankle, and Foot Rules.

(more…)

By |2019-01-28T23:40:47-08:00May 7, 2010|Orthopedic, Radiology|

Paucis Verbis card: Knee exam

Knee PainHow accurate is the clinical knee exam?

JAMA published a meta-analysis trying to answer this question. Although they include patients with acute and chronic knee pain, it’s a good general review of the knee anatomy, historical clues, and exam elements.

In the ED, the knee exam is challenging because we see very acute injuries where knee pain and swelling often preclude an accurate exam. For patients with an equivocal exam, be sure to refer for orthopedic follow-up. A repeat exam should be performed once the pain and swelling subside.

(more…)

By |2019-01-28T23:48:53-08:00Mar 19, 2010|ALiEM Cards, Orthopedic|

Beware the hidden tibia plateau fracture

TibialPlateau2vsmFind the fracture in this patient with blunt knee trauma.

As a general rule, plain films are insensitive in ruling out orthopedic injuries. One particularly tricky area is the knee. This 2-view knee series above is normal.

Did you know that the sensitivity of picking up knee fractures is as low as 79% with a 2-view series and 85% with a 4-view series? With the advent of CT imaging, more and more subtle fractures are being found.

By |2016-11-11T19:01:36-08:00Feb 11, 2010|Orthopedic, Radiology|
Go to Top