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reference materials

Evaluation of the Patient With Joint Disorders

key information

source: Merck Manual

year: 2013

authors: Alexandra Villa-Forte


Some musculoskeletal disorders affect primarily the joints, causing arthritis. Others affect primarily the bones (eg, fractures, Paget disease of bone, tumors), muscles or other extra-articular soft tissues (eg, fibromyalgia), or periarticular soft tissues (eg, bursitis, tendinitis, sprain). Arthritis has myriad possible causes, including infection, autoimmune disorders, crystal-induced inflammation, and minimally inflammatory cartilage and bone disorders (eg, osteoarthritis). Arthritis may affect single joints (monarthritis) or multiple joints (polyarthritis) in a symmetric or asymmetric manner. Joints may suffer fractures or sprains.

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