oa South African Family Practice - A diagnostic approach to the common arthritic conditions



Arthritis is a common cause of pain and disability in adults. In this article, the first in a series of two articles on arthritis, a clinical approach to musculoskeletal disorders is reviewed, with emphasis on the history and examination as the basis for diagnosis of common rheumatic disorders. A simple step-by-step clinical approach is discussed and basic investigations are considered in the context of clinical findings. Some common clinical pitfalls in diagnosis are highlighted. Broad principles of management of rheumatic diseases are briefly discussed as a prelude to the second article in which an in-depth approach to the management of rheumatoid arthritis is covered.


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