Musculoskeletal complaints account for nearly 20% of primary care and emergency rooms visits. Whether the etiology is a gouty flare or chronic arthritis, the pain can often be managed with joint taps or injections. The ability to perform these procedures is dependent on operator experience and comfort, and often times is referred out when it could be easily performed in a routine office setting.
Elsevier partnered with orthopedic surgeons, such as Dr. Mark Miller (of “Miller Review of Orthopedics” fame) to compile a comprehensive list of musculoskeletal exams and injection/aspiration techniques. The app is available for the iOS platform, and utilizes videos, text, and illustrations to aid in the diagnosis and management of common orthopedic complaints.
The home screen is simple, and shows two categories that make up the bulk of the app: Musculoskeletal injections and Aspirations and Musculoskeletal Examination Videos. There is also a scrollable Video Gallery, along with several tabs lining the bottom – Home, Search, Bookmarks, Notes, and About Us.
Each MSK injection and aspiration topic includes explanations including the CPT code for the procedure, equipment needed, indications/contraindications, technique, special considerations, and instructions for the patient. The videos walk through the anatomy and landmarks needed for proper needle placement into the joint spaces.
The Musculoskeletal Examination Videos do not include the same level of detail as the text, but the videos remain instructive and quick. All of the examination videos are accompanied by audio with step-by-step instructions of how to perform the exam properly as well as the pertinent findings that would be present if there is injury or pathology.
Secondary features of the app include the ability to bookmark and add notes to injection topics for further review. It also has a search feature.
The app is very well-designed, flows easily, and is a comprehensive tool. While the developers are targeting primary care and family physicians, this is an app that could be well utilized by many: ranging from medical students to specialists (sports medicine and physiatrists) and even orthopedic surgeons.
- Universal app for iPhone and iPad
- $29.99 from the App Store
- Clean, easy to use format.
- Quick videos with simple explanations
- Its price may make it prohibitive for more casual users, like medical students or residents.
- A well-designed, comprehensive application for those who are interested in learning the tenets and principle managements of musculoskeletal complaints
- At $29.99, it would be best utilized by those who encounter and treat musculoskeletal problems, ranging from orthopedic surgeons to sports medicine physicians and even general practitioners.