Geriatric Physical Diagnosis: The Upper Extremities

Mark E. Williams, MD


November 17, 2009

In This Article


"Although nature commences with reason and ends in experience, it is necessary for us to do the opposite; that is, to commence with experience and from this to proceed to investigate the reason." - Leonardo da Vinci
"If the artist is obligated to communicate his meaning, the public in return should bear in mind that they are no less obligated to make an effort to understand what the artist is attempting to say to them." - Francis Henry Taylor

Elbow and shoulder problems are very common in elderly people. The upper extremity examination is clinically important because upper extremity skills are essential for the performance of activities of daily living. The assessment mainly consists of careful examination of the elbow and shoulder. (For information on examining and diagnosing problems in the hands and wrists see Assessing the Hands and Wrists in Elderly People [], which is part of this series on the assessment of the elderly patient.)


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