FAQ Level 3 Award for First Responders on Scene: Emergency First Responder (RQF) FROS® - Online Blended Part 1

219 videos, 11 hours and 53 minutes

Course Content

Joint examination

Video 158 of 219
5 min 46 sec
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Basic Examination of Joints: Understanding the Process


Whether assessing a knee, ankle, or wrist, the basic examination of any joint follows a similar process. In this overview, we'll delve into the key steps involved in examining a wrist joint for potential injuries.

Observation and Initial Assessment

Before examining the joint's movement, it's essential to observe how the patient holds themselves and assess any visible signs of injury or discomfort.

  • Posture Check: Observe the patient's posture and how they hold the affected area.
  • Visible Signs: Look for deviations, swelling, bruising, or unusual positions.
  • Sensory Examination: Assess for warmth, tenderness, and abnormal sensations around the joint.

Movement Assessment

Once the initial observation is complete, proceed with a gentle movement assessment to determine the extent of joint mobility and any pain points.

  • Finger Movement: Begin with finger movement to assess overall hand functionality.
  • Thumb and Wrist Examination: Gradually move to the thumb and wrist, observing for pain or discomfort.
  • Identifying Pain Points: Gentle manipulation helps pinpoint areas of discomfort and potential injury.

Additional Assessments

In addition to movement evaluation, several other assessments aid in diagnosing joint injuries:

  • Cap Refill Test: Check blood circulation by squeezing and releasing the fingertip to observe capillary refill time.
  • Observation for Crepitus: Detect bone-on-bone movement or clicking sounds, indicating potential fractures or joint issues.
  • Swelling Considerations: Assess for swelling and provide early intervention to prevent complications such as circulation issues or difficulty removing accessories like rings.

Treatment Considerations

Prioritize pain management and immobilization to ensure patient comfort and prevent further injury:

  • Pain Relief: Administer pain relief as needed to alleviate discomfort before proceeding with examinations.
  • Immobilization: Stabilize the joint appropriately before transferring the patient to a medical facility for further evaluation and treatment.

Ring Removal Tip

For tight-fitting rings, utilize a simple technique using oxygen mask elastic to aid in removal:

  • Oxygen Mask Method: Gently feed oxygen mask elastic underneath the ring and twist to facilitate safe and easy removal without causing further discomfort.
Learning Outcomes:
  • IPOSi Unit three LO1.1, 1.2 & 2.1