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.