After more than a quarter century as a primary care educator, I am
convinced that our graduates enter practice inadequately trained in
the diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal problems and
injuries. One reason for this perceived deficiency is the relatively
short duration of primary care training—typically three years for
family medicine, general internal medicine, and general pediatrics.
During this time, there are just not enough months to teach all a clinician
needs to know about diseases and trauma involving the musculoskeletal
system. This inadequacy is compounded by the
sometimes quirky nature of the problems: that is, for example, the
increased risk of nonunion in a fracture of the carpal navicular
(scaphoid) bone or the maneuver that can magically reduce a child’s
radial head subluxation.
The chapters in this book are from the edited reference book Family
Medicine: Principles and Practice, 6th edition, which is widely used
by family physicians in the United States and abroad. The publisher
and I believe that, in addition to family physicians, the chapters in this
book will also be useful to other clinicians providing broad-based
care: general internists, general pediatricians, emergency physicians,
nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. When compared to the
large, comprehensive book, this volume will be preferred by some
readers because of the physically smaller size and perhaps by the
This derivative handbook addresses the diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal problems and injuries in the primary care setting. It covers problems involving all areas of the skeleton and related musculature in both children and adults. Since primary care clinicians manage most sports injuries, athletic injuries are discussed in depth. In addition to sprains, strains, and fractures, chapters cover illnesses affecting the musculoskeletal system, various types of arthritis, fibromyalgia, and the complex regional pain syndrome. The pocket-sized book will appeal to a range of family care providers.