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Spinal Exam
 
 
 
 
Spinal Exam
Examination of the back is performed to identify and localise pathology affecting the vertebrae and soft tissues associated with the spine. Particular conditions of interest include radiculopathy, past spinal surgery and ankylosing spondylitis.
 

Scoliosis

 
 

Overview

    • How to Elicit

    • Inspect the spine, and then palpate the spinous processes of the vertebrae.
    • Look For

    • Lateral curvature of the spine
    • Distortion of the trunk
    • Prominence of the ribs
    • Assymetry of skin folds about the flank
    • Shoulder elevation
    • Scapular rotation
    • Causes of Scoliosis

    • Idiopathic (80%)
    • Congenital - maldevelopment of vertebrae
    • Neuromuscular disorders - cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy
    • Syndromal - Marfan, neurofibromatosis, Down syndrome
    • Trauma - fracture, dislocation, burns
    • Degenerative - secondary to facet joint osteoarthritis
  • Consider dropping a plumb line, if one is available, from the midline at the level of the atlantoaxial joint. This will aid in easily identifying even minor lateral curvature.
Last updated on January 1st, 2017
 
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Associated Diseases
BETA

Musculoskeletal
Neurological
Oncology
Paediatrics
Trauma
Neurological
 

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