1. Thoracic limb
The purpose of an orthopaedic examination is to evaluate a patient for the presence or absence of orthopaedic disease and to localise any abnormalities found. This examination is arguably the most critical part of an orthopaedic work-up as it is at this point that important decisions are made with regard to selecting further diagnostic tests and/or discussing treatment options and prognosis. This article, the first of two, considers the need for a systematic approach to the orthopaedic examination and discusses how this might be applied to the thoracic limb. Part 2, to be published in the April issue of In Practice, will discuss how to perform an orthopaedic examination on the pelvic limb. An article published in the January issue described the use of orthopaedic examination as part of an approach to forelimb lameness.
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