The Virtual Shoulder Physical Exam

Posted on 23.02.2021 - 15:14

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the use of remote telehealth evaluations of sports medicine injuries and shoulder injuries [30,35]. The improvement of web-based videoconferencing platforms has allowed for more user-friendly, face-to-face interactions between patients and clinicians [15]. Both patients and providers have been forced to welcome telehealth as an alternative because of recent required social distancing and restrictions on in-person visits. There have been several studies across various medical specialties that have shown telehealth visits have similar patient satisfaction levels compared with in-person visits. In addition, telehealth visits have shown decreased overall visit times, wait times, and health care costs [2,29,32,42,43]. While the use of telehealth had increased in some medical specialties, before the COVID-19 crisis, it had not had a significant role in most orthopedic surgery or sports medicine practices [25]. As we return to a new normal, most musculoskeletal care providers recognize telehealth as an alternative. This becomes particularly relevant because patients and providers have an increasing demand for convenience and proficiency [25,27,30,35]. A common belief among musculoskeletal clinicians is that telemedicine has a limited ability to provide accurate and through physical examination—the keystone of clinical orthopedic evaluation [8,9,17,18,38,39]. Specifically, many providers feel that in a telehealth visit, it is too difficult to perform exam maneuvers that require manual motor testing for strength, motion assessment, and provocative testing for pain. There is a recent study describing basic physical examination components [35]; in addition we have recently pubilshed an overview of the telehealth examination of the shoulder and knee elsewhere [24]. Here, we provide a basic overview.


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Taylor, Samuel A.; Lamplot, Joseph D.; Pinnamaneni, Sridhar; Rodeo, Scott A.; Swensen-Buza, Stephanie; Lawton, Cort D.; et al. (2021): The Virtual Shoulder Physical Exam. SAGE Journals. Collection.



Read the peer-reviewed publication

HSS Journal®: The Musculoskeletal Journal of Hospital for Special Surgery


Samuel A. Taylor
Joseph D. Lamplot
Sridhar Pinnamaneni
Scott A. Rodeo
Stephanie Swensen-Buza
Cort D. Lawton
Joshua S. Dines
Warren K. Young


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