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Discussion: Assessing Musculoskeletal Pain

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The body is constantly sending signals about its health. One of the most easily recognized signals is pain. Musculoskeletal conditions comprise one of the leading causes of severe long-term pain in patients. The musculoskeletal system is an elaborate system of interconnected levers that provides the body with support and mobility. Because of the interconnectedness of the musculoskeletal system, identifying the causes of pain can be challenging. Accurately interpreting the cause of musculoskeletal pain requires an assessment process informed by patient history and physical exams.

In this Discussion, you will consider case studies that describe abnormal findings in patients seen in a clinical setting.

To prepare:

· You will be assigned to one of the following specific case study. 

· Your Discussion post should be in the Episodic/Focused SOAP Note format rather than the traditional narrative style Discussion posting format. Refer to Chapter 2 of the Sullivan text and the Episodic/Focused SOAP Template in the Week 5 Learning Resources for guidance. Remember that all Episodic/Focused SOAP notes have specific data included in every patient case.

· Review the following case study.

Case 2: Ankle Pain

A 46-year-old female reports pain in both of her ankles, but she is more concerned about her right ankle. She was playing soccer over the weekend and heard a “pop.” She is able to bear weight, but it is uncomfortable. In determining the cause of the ankle pain, based on your knowledge of anatomy, what foot structures are likely involved? What other symptoms need to be explored? What are your differential diagnoses for ankle pain? What physical examination will you perform? What special maneuvers will you perform? Should you apply the Ottawa ankle rules to determine if you need additional testing?

Please use soap template below:

Episodic/Focused SOAP Note Template

Patient Information:

Initials, Age, Sex, Race

S.

CC (chief complaint) a BRIEF statement identifying why the patient is here – in the patient’s own words – for instance “headache”, NOT “bad headache for 3 days”.

HPI: This is the symptom analysis section of your note. Thorough documentation in this section is essential for patient care, coding, and billing analysis. Paint a picture of what is wrong with the patient. Use LOCATES Mnemonic to complete your HPI. You need to start EVERY HPI with age, race, and gender (e.g., 34-year-old AA male). You must include the seven attributes of each principal symptom in paragraph form not a list. If the CC was “headache”, the LOCATES for the HPI might look like the following example:

Location: head

Onset: 3 days ago

Character: pounding, pressure around the eyes and temples

Associated signs and symptoms: nausea, vomiting, photophobia, phonophobia

Timing: after being on the computer all day at work

Exacerbating/ relieving factors: light bothers eyes, Aleve makes it tolerable but not completely better

Severity: 7/10 pain scale

Current Medications: include dosage, frequency, length of time used and reason for use; also include OTC or homeopathic products.

Allergies: include medication, food, and environmental allergies separately (a description of what the allergy is ie angioedema, anaphylaxis, etc. This will help determine a true reaction vs intolerance).

PMHx: include immunization status (note date of last tetanus for all adults), past major illnesses and surgeries. Depending on the CC, more info is sometimes needed
 

Soc Hx: include occupation and major hobbies, family status, tobacco & alcohol use (previous and current use), any other pertinent data. Always add some health promo question here – such as whether they use seat belts all the time or whether they have working smoke detectors in the house, living environment, text/cell phone use while driving, and support system.

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Fam Hx: illnesses with possible genetic predisposition, contagious or chronic illnesses. Reason for death of any deceased first degree relatives should be included. Include parents, grandparents, siblings, and children. Include grandchildren if pertinent.

ROS: cover all body systems that may help you include or rule out a differential diagnosis You should list each system as follows: General: HeadEENT: etc. You should list these in bullet format and document the systems in order from head to toe.

Example of Complete ROS:

GENERAL:  No weight loss, fever, chills, weakness or fatigue.

HEENT:  Eyes:  No visual loss, blurred vision, double vision or yellow sclerae. Ears, Nose, Throat:  No hearing loss, sneezing, congestion, runny nose or sore throat.

SKIN:  No rash or itching.

CARDIOVASCULAR:  No chest pain, chest pressure or chest discomfort. No palpitations or edema.

RESPIRATORY:  No shortness of breath, cough or sputum.

GASTROINTESTINAL:  No anorexia, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. No abdominal pain or blood.

GENITOURINARY:  Burning on urination. Pregnancy. Last menstrual period, MM/DD/YYYY.

NEUROLOGICAL:  No headache, dizziness, syncope, paralysis, ataxia, numbness or tingling in the extremities. No change in bowel or bladder control.

MUSCULOSKELETAL:  No muscle, back pain, joint pain or stiffness.

HEMATOLOGIC:  No anemia, bleeding or bruising.

LYMPHATICS:  No enlarged nodes. No history of splenectomy.

PSYCHIATRIC:  No history of depression or anxiety.

ENDOCRINOLOGIC:  No reports of sweating, cold or heat intolerance. No polyuria or polydipsia.

ALLERGIES:  No history of asthma, hives, eczema or rhinitis.

O.

Physical exam: From head-to-toe, include what you see, hear, and feel when doing your physical exam. You only need to examine the systems that are pertinent to the CC, HPI, and History. Do not use “WNL” or “normal.” You must describe what you see. Always document in head to toe format i.e. General: Head: EENT: etc. 

Diagnostic results: Include any labs, x-rays, or other diagnostics that are needed to develop the differential diagnoses (support with evidenced and guidelines)

A.

Differential Diagnoses (list a minimum of 3 differential diagnoses).Your primary or presumptive diagnosis should be at the top of the list. For each diagnosis, provide supportive documentation with evidence based guidelines.

P. 

This section is not required for the assignments in this course (NURS 6512) but will be required for future courses.

References

You are required to include at least three evidence based peer-reviewed journal articles or evidenced based guidelines which relates to this case to support your diagnostics and differentials diagnoses. Be sure to use correct APA 6th edition formatting.

Resource for reference

Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Seidel’s guide to physical examination: An interprofessional approach (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

  • Chapter 4, “Vital Signs and      Pain Assessment” (Previously read in Week 6)

     
  • Chapter 22, “Musculoskeletal System”

         This chapter describes the process of assessing the musculoskeletal      system. In addition, the authors explore the anatomy and physiology of the      musculoskeletal system.

Dains, J. E., Baumann, L. C., & Scheibel, P. (2019). Advanced health assessment and clinical diagnosis in primary care (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

Credit Line: Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Diagnosis in Primary Care, 6th Edition by Dains, J.E., Baumann, L. C., & Scheibel, P. Copyright 2019 by Mosby. Reprinted by permission of Mosby via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Chapter 22, “Lower Extremity Limb Pain”
This chapter outlines how to take a focused history and perform a physical exam to determine the cause of limb pain. It includes a discussion of the most common tests used to assess musculoskeletal disorders.

Chapter 24, “Low Back Pain (Acute)”
The focus of this chapter is the identification of the causes of lower back pain. It includes suggested physical exams and potential diagnoses.

Sullivan, D. D. (2019). Guide to clinical documentation (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis.

  • Chapter 2, “The      Comprehensive History and Physical Exam” (“Muscle Strength      Grading”) (Previously read in Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5)

     
  • Chapter 3, “SOAP Notes”

         This section explains the procedural knowledge needed to perform      musculoskeletal procedures.

Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Musculoskeletal system: Student checklist. In Seidel’s guide to physical examination: An interprofessional approach (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

Credit Line: Seidel’s Guide to Physical Examination, 9th Edition by Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. Copyright 2019 by Elsevier Health Sciences. Reprinted by permission of Elsevier Health Sciences via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Musculoskeletal system: Key points. In Seidel’s guide to physical examination: An interprofessional approach (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

Credit Line: Seidel’s Guide to Physical Examination, 9th Edition by Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. Copyright 2019 by Elsevier Health Sciences. Reprinted by permission of Elsevier Health Sciences via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Katz, J. N., Lyons, N., Wolff, L. S., Silverman, J., Emrani, P., Holt, H. L., … Losina, E. (2011). Medical decision-making among Hispanics and non-Hispanic Whites with chronic back and knee pain: A qualitative study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 12(1), 78–85.

This study examines the medical decision making among Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites. The authors also analyze the preferred information sources used for making decisions in these populations.

Smuck, M., Kao, M., Brar, N., Martinez-Ith, A., Choi, J., & Tomkins-Lane, C. C. (2014). Does physical activity influence the relationship between low back pain and obesity? The Spine Journal, 14(2), 209–216. doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2013.11.010

Shiri, R., Solovieva, S., Husgafvel-Pursiainen, K., Telama, R., Yang, X., Viikari, J., Raitakari, O. T., & Viikari-Juntura, E. (2013). The role of obesity and physical activity in non-specific and radiating low back pain: The Young Finns study. Seminars in Arthritis & Rheumatism, 42(6), 640–650. doi:10.1016/j.semarthrit.2012.09.002

Document: Episodic/Focused SOAP Note Exemplar (Word document)

Document: Episodic/Focused SOAP Note Template (Word document)

 

Optional Resource

LeBlond, R. F., Brown, D. D., & DeGowin, R. L. (2014). DeGowin’s diagnostic examination (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill Medical.

  • Chapter 13, “The Spine, Pelvis, and      Extremities” (pp. 585–682)

         In this chapter, the authors explain the physiology of the spine, pelvis,      and extremities. The chapter also describes how to examine the spine,      pelvis, and extremities.

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