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10 Lessons

The majority of athletes presenting to a sports medicine clinic have a musculoskeletal condition. While this is typically related to trauma, a reasonable percentage of these patients have pain that is related to either an inflammatory condition or another medical problem. It is not uncommon for patients to relate their pain to an injury.

It is outside the scope of this module to review individual rheumatological conditions. It is important however to be able to distinguish between pain which is related to mechanical factors and pain which is caused by an inflammatory condition.

This module will also discuss some of the issues related to osteoarthritis.

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Learning outcomes

By the end of this topic you should:

  • be able to distinguish between mechanical and inflammatory joint pain by taking an appropriate history, conducting a clinical examination and by ordering appropriate investigations;
  • have an approach to the treatment of patients with inflammatory joint pain;
  • be able to identify a patient presenting with septic arthritis and be able to initiate an emergency response;
  • understand the relationship between significant trauma and osteoarthritis;
  • be able to prescribe physical activity for those with osteoarthritis – including after a joint replacement.


  • Read the relevant section in the FIFA Medical Manual and other required reading.
  • Review the suggested reading.
  • View, or listen to, any relevant multimedia content.
  • Complete the course quiz.

Suggested Reading

Brukner & Khan’s

Clinical Sports Medicine – 4th Edition

Chapter 55 (pages 1093-1101)


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  2. Margaretten ME, Kohlwes J, Moore D, Bent S. Does this adult patient have septic arthritis? JAMA 2007 Apr 4;297(13):1478-88.
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