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General Observations

Key Points:
• How does the patient present themself?
• “Attitude” of the injured part.
• Type of wound(s).
General Observations: Simple observations of the patient on entry to the room provide significant information. These observations may include their attitude, pain severity, posture imbalance, etc. More in-depth observations and evaluation will include the following on examination: 
• Scars, open lacerations, and soft tissue injury.
• Signs of motor dysfunction.
• E.g., humeral head subluxation may indicate deltoid muscle dysfunction.
• Signs of complex regional pain syndrome.
• Dry, hot, pink skin.
• Edema, induration.
• Sweaty, cold, blue skin.
• Dry, cracked, thin skin.
• Loss of creases at joints.
• Abnormal hair and nail growth.
• Joint contractures.