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Special Tests in Musculoskeletal Examination: An evidence-based guide for clinicians (Physiotherapy Pocketbooks) [Kindle Edition]

Paul Hattam , Alison Smeatham
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The proliferation of special tests used in musculoskeletal examination has left the clinician with a vast array of physical tests at their disposal. Special Tests in Musculoskeletal Examination is a handy one-stop guide with over 150 peripheral tests. The clinical context and evidence base is thoroughly explored and the addition of clinical tips and expert opinion will enable the clinician to select the most appropriate tests and interpret the results meaningfully.

  • Step-by-step description for each test 
  • Clear photographic illustrations
  • 'At a glance' presentation of the background evidence
  • Detailed clinical context
  • Comprehensive referencing of orthopaedic special tests
  • Clinical tips

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"The authors have succeeded in creating a very readable, well set out and comprehensive work that makes sense of the bewildering number of clinical examination tests used in everyday practice. This book is a great resource for all clinicians involved in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal conditions."

Peter Schranz FRCS Orth Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

"These two highly respected clinicians have created a really clear and concise book that houses the many extra tests used in this area of medicine and importantly, have analyzed the relevance of each one in the context of modern day, evidence based practice."

Dr Bryan English, MB, ChB, DO, Dip Sports Med, FFSEM Chief Medical Officer, Chelsea Football Club

"This book is an excellent resource for all clinicians wishing to advance their examination and interpretative skills, particularly for those training or working in a specialist musculoskeletal role."

Suzie Durrell, MSc MMACP MCSP Consultant Physiotherapist

"I know that there are some incredibly clever physiotherapists who not only know all the MSK tests, but also how to perform them accursately and even remember their names. Those people need read no further but the rest of us mere mortals will find this little gem of a book really useful...Having read it from cover to cover it will now sit on my desk so that I can dip into it whenever I need to and I will think 'well done Paul Hattam and Alison Smeatham.' "

Lin Connor MCSP, InTouch, The Journal for Physiotherapists in Private Practice, Autumn 2011.

Product details

More About the Author

Special Tests - Unravelled

The need to understand the significance of the many extra or special tests as well as reproduce them accurately has created a demand for this 2 day course programme that provides a clear explanation of when and why each test should be used and how to perform the manoeuvres accurately. The programme covers the theory underpinning the use of special tests in the examination and blends this with clinically relevant anatomy, the significance of a positive test, appropriate investigations with hands-on practical time supervised by experienced clinical tutors.

All clinicians involved in managing musculoskeletal disorders including physiotherapists, extended scope practitioners, podiatrists, doctors, GPWSI, osteopaths, chiropractors, sports therapists etc. For more information see:

New courses are being planned for 2014/15 in the UK, Norway and Switzerland. If you would like to host an event, please contact the course administrator (

Manchester May 2012
Belfast Nov 2012
Ballymena Dec 2012
Liverpool April 2013
Liskeard June 2013
Edinburgh Oct 2013
Liverpool Feb 2014

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended 24 Mar. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is probably the best book on clinical examination tests I have ever read.
It is relevant and useful for Orthopaedics surgeons, Musculoskeletal Clinicians, Therapists and also undergraduates.
The authors have managed to accurately and concisely describe all the common clinical examination tests of the musculoskeletal system. They have clearly done very thorough research on the origins of the tests, precise descriptions and accuracy. They have managed to compact that eloquently into a very easy-to-read pocket book.
I have always managed to find inaccuracies in most clinical examination books, but I have struggled to find any in this one.
I have bought both the pocketbook and Kindle versions.
It essential reading for our Postgraduate Orthopaedics Masters Programme at Salford University.

Lennard Funk
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Osteopathic view 22 Feb. 2012
The world of musculoskeletal tests in my experience as an osteopath, is disparate and confusing to say the least. In trying to make sense of it, I think the way the authors have taken on this task and wrestled with it to produce a text that is logical, intelligent, thorough and easy to use, is not only a stroke of genius but really has to be applauded. Clearly, a huge amount of work has gone into producing this handy pocket book, not only in sifting through the mass of research out there to synthesize what is most relevant, but also in finding the most beneficial way of availing that information for practical useage. As such 'Special Tests in Musculoskeletal Examination' is a definitive guide to everything the clinician needs at his/her fingertips to unravel the complex world of MSK tests, and be able to confidently use the ones which are going to be most useful for each individual patient.

I particularly like the 'Clinical context' for each test which give fuller explanations of what is happening with the tests and the rationale for them, backed up by research; and also the 'Clinical tips' and 'Expert Opinion' so that overall it becomes far more than just a 'how to' book.

All of us involved in the musculoskeletal care of patients - GP's, physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors etc are going to find this book invaluable. Thank you and well done!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent little book 18 Mar. 2011
The authors have compiled a book that fills a gap in the current musculoskeletal literature. This unique little book is a must have for all physiotherapists and GP's. It clearly describes all the key tests for the peripheral joints and grades them regarding their evidence based. There are so many clinical tests out there that this area can be confusing, however this evidence based book provides clarity and what I found especially useful is that it puts the tests into clinical context. This book provides much more than just a list of tests and helps with the readers clinical reasoning and overall understanding. As an Extended Scope Physiotherapist I would strongly recommend this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bsc Sports Therapy student 28 Nov. 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent book, very clear, good up to date text, with good explanations of tests and photos taking you through them in a easy to follow manner, it also explains and rates the tests with up to date references which is excellent, especially if you have to find references on tests for instance. The book also grades how good a test is for certain situations. All in all excellent, worth the money, small so you can take it with you on pratice, or for a nice read on the train....I took mine on holiday and read it by the pool!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic for placement! 20 Aug. 2011
By carla
Format:Kindle Edition
I was after a book that would guide me through an outpatients placement, and this has been the book I was looking for! With each test explained, how to do it, what it tests, and what a positive result means is perfect, and as each test is backed up with clinical evidence/the latest research you can really impress your senior physio! Evidence based tests & pictures showing hand placement are vital - this should be a mandatory book for any physiotherapy course!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooray! 5 Aug. 2010
By SB67
As an experienced musculoskeletal physiotherapist and 'clinical specialist' I wanted to write and say what an absolute genius idea for a text this is, and it is brilliant!!

Compiling and summarising the evidence that is out there for many peripheral MSK tests is such a great (and long overdue) idea, really helpful for the clinician. I have enjoyed re-using tests I had forgotten about (Yergasons - which it seems from the review has gained kudos since I learned about it) and clarified ones that I use all the time! I really like the pocketbook style and the clear way the authors have indicated the Liklihood Ratio (LR) rating, this is a combined measure of the tests sensitivity and specificity. The other physios in my department really like it too, and I have to keep a close eye on mine top stop it going walk about!
It has been useful to have the supporting references for the various tests listed also; the Sports Med Dr and I were trying to determine if MR or MR arthrogram was the investigation of choice for FAI, and then were able to order a particular reference to have a look at! Brilliant.

A good size easy to use text, useful for experienced physios, and newly qualifieds alike, I think this will become a seminal physiotherapy text.
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