Muscle Inspection | Elbow Exam - MedSchool
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Elbow Exam
 
 
 

Muscle Inspection

 
 
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Muscle Wasting

    • Look For

    • Decreased mass of the muscles affecting the elbow. Note whether wasting is isolated to a single muscle or muscle group, isolated to the upper limb or generalised.
    • Causes of Muscle Wasting

    • Normal aging
    • Disuse
    • Malnutrition - poor diet, malabsorption, cancer
    • Denervation - trauma, ALS, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, neuropathy, polio
    • Muscular disorders - inflammatory myopathy, muscular dystrophies
    • Chronic disease - cancer, heart failure, COPD, infection, cirrhosis, kidney disease

Muscle Spasm

    • Look For

    • Spontaneous, uncontrollable contraction(s) of muscle. Note whether the spasm affects a single region, is generalised or affects the ipsilateral arm and leg.
    • Causes of Muscle Spasm

    • Exercise-induced spasm (cramping)
    • Dehydration
    • Electrolyte abnormalities - hyper/hyponatraemia
    • Hereditary dystonia - idiopathic, Huntington’s, Wilson’s
    • Acquired dystonia - brain damage, encephalitis, parkinsonism, brain tumour, stroke, drug-induced
    • Factitious dystonia

Fasciculations

    • Look For

    • Visible, spontaneous localised muscle contraction and relaxation.
    • Causes of Fasciculations

    • Benign / normal
    • Lower motor neuron disorders - ALS, radiculopathy, peripheral neuropathy, entrapment, syringomyelia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
    • Metabolic disorders - thyrotoxicosis, tetanus, anticholinesterase medications
Last updated on November 23rd, 2019
 
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