lab12 - 11 The Muscular System Objectives In this chapter...

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63 11 The Muscular System Objective s In this chapter we will study methods used to diagnose muscle disorders; and some structural disorders of skeletal muscle—rhabdomyolysis, myositis, and the muscle tumor rhabdomyosarcoma. Diagnosing Structural Disorders of the Muscular System The body contains about 600 skeletal muscles, specialized organs that produce movement of body parts and perform several other essential and overlapping functions. Health-care professionals employ a knowledge of muscle form and function when they turn patients, give injections, or engage in the diagnosis and treatment of muscular system disorders (myopathies). Although muscle structure and function cannot be strictly separated, we deal with myopathies of a primarily structural nature in this chapter and with more functional disorders in chapter 12. The symptoms of muscular disorders can be confusing because some of them, such as pain upon movement, are also produced by disorders of the nervous and skeletal systems. A skilled clinician must be able to determine which system is responsible for a given symptom so that proper treatment can be initiated. The most common symptom of a muscular disorder is pain in the affected muscle or muscles; the second most prevalent symptom is weakness. Either of these symptoms may be due to nervous or skeletal system pathologies, trauma to the muscle itself, or muscle infections. Additional symptoms include muscle atrophy, tenderness, stiffness, and cramping. When a patient presents with these rather broad symptoms, how does a clinician complete the diagnostic process? During the physical examination, observing the patient’s gait and posture can help detect disorders of muscles in the limbs or trunk, while assessing the patient’s speech and facial movements provides information about the musculature of the head. In addition, various diagnostic tests can be conducted to evaluate muscle strength and motion. Often muscle strength is first tested manually. Conducting this exam requires the clinician to understand muscle anatomy and the functional relationships of the muscles in a given region. For example, to test the quadriceps femoris muscle, which extends the knee, the clinician may ask the patient to sit on an examination table and then lift and straighten his knee. This will show whether the patient can lift his leg against gravity. If he can do this, the clinician may next push down on the lower leg as the patient tries to straighten his knee against this resistance. This exercise tests the muscle’s ability to work against an externally applied force. The clinician judges the amount of force the patient can generate and assigns a grade according to the guidelines followed at the particular clinic. There are three commonly used scales: (1) a percentage scale, which rates muscle strength between 0% and 100%; (2) a terminology- based scale, in which muscle strength can range anywhere between “trace/zero” and “good/ normal”;
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This note was uploaded on 11/16/2011 for the course SCIENCE Anatomy an taught by Professor Tory during the Spring '11 term at Kennesaw.

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lab12 - 11 The Muscular System Objectives In this chapter...

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