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Differential Diagnosis


Chapter 9 Differential Diagnosis Overview Differential diagnosis involves the ability to quickly differentiate those problems of a serious nature from those that are ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Differential Diagnosis

Chapter 9
  • Differential Diagnosis

  • Differential diagnosis involves the ability to
    quickly differentiate those problems of a serious
    nature from those that are not
  • Problems of a serious nature include, but are not
    limited to visceral diseases, cancer, infections,
    fractures and vascular disorders

Referred Pain
  • The term referred pain is used to describe those
    symptoms that have their origin at a site other
    than where the patient feels the pain

Referred pain
  • Referred pain can be generated by
  • Convergence of sensory input from separate parts
    of the body to the same dorsal horn neuron via
    primary sensory fibers
  • Secondary pain resulting from a myofascial
    trigger point
  • Sympathetic activity elicited by a spinal reflex
  • Pain-generating substances

Referred Pain
  • Macnab recommends the following classification
    for referred pain
  • Viscerogenic
  • Vasculogenic
  • Neurogenic
  • Psychogenic
  • Spondylogenic

Viscerogenic Pain
  • Viscerogenic pain may be produced when the
    nociceptive fibers from the viscera, synapse in
    the spinal cord, with some of the same neurons
    that receive pain from the skin.

Viscerogenic Pain
  • Visceral pain has five important clinical
  • It is not evoked from all viscera
  • It is not always linked to visceral injury
  • It is diffuse and poorly localized
  • It is referred to other locations
  • It is accompanied with autonomic reflexes, such
    as the nausea, and vomiting

Vasculogenic Pain
  • Vasculogenic pain tends to result from venous
    congestion or arterial deprivation to the
    musculoskeletal areas
  • Tends to mimic a wide variety of musculoskeletal,
    neurologic, and arthritic disorders, as this type
    of pain is often worsened by activity

Neurogenic Pain
  • Neurogenic pain is pain that is referred from a
    neurological structure.
  • Neurogenic causes of pain may include
  • A tumor compressing and irritating a neural
    structure of the spinal cord, meninges
  • A spinal nerve root irritation
  • Peripheral nerve entrapment
  • Neuritis

Scanning Examination
  • The tests of the Cyriax upper or lower quarter
    scanning examination can be used to
  • Examine the patients neurological status
  • Highlight the presence of a lesion to the central
    or peripheral nervous systems
  • Help rule out any serious pathology such as a
    fracture or tumor

Scanning Examination
  • The upper quarter scanning examination is
    appropriate for upper thoracic, upper extremity,
    and cervical problems
  • The lower quarter scanning examination is
    typically used for thoracic, lower extremity, and
    lumbosacral problems

Scanning Examination
  • The tests included in the scanning examination
    include strength testing, sensation testing
    (light touch and pin-prick), deep tendon
    reflexes, and the pathological reflexes

Scanning Examination
  • At the end of each of the scanning examinations,
    either a medical diagnosis (disc protrusion,
    prolapse, or extrusion, acute arthritis, specific
    tendonitis, or muscle belly tear,
    spondylolisthesis or stenosis) can be made, or
    the scanning examination is considered negative

Psychogenic Pain
  • Psychogenic (non-organic) pain is characterized
    by abnormal illness behaviors
  • Commonly exhibited by patients suffering from
    depression, emotional disturbance, or anxiety
  • All patients should be given the benefit of the
    doubt until the clinician, with a high degree of
    confidence, can rule out an organic cause for the

Spondylogenic Pain
  • Spondylogenic pain is pain referred from a
    vertebral lesion
  • Characteristics of a spondylogenic lesion
  • Severe and unrelenting pain
  • The presence of a fever
  • Bone tenderness
  • Unexplained weight loss

Generalized Body Pain
  • Two conditions that can cause generalized body
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS)

  • Poorly understood complex of generalized body
    aches that can cause pain or paresthesias, or
    both, in a non-radicular pattern
  • Not a disease, but rather a syndrome with a
    common set of characteristic symptoms, including
    widespread pain and the presence of a defined
    number of tender points

  • A positive tender point count of 11 or more of 18
    standardized sites, when present in combination
    with the history of widespread pain, yields a
    sensitivity of 88.4 and a specificity of 81.1
    in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia

Myofascial Pain Syndrome
  • Characterized by the presence of myofascial
    trigger points (MTrPs)
  • A MTrP is a hyperirritable location,
    approximately 2 to 5 cm in diameter, 86within a
    taut band of muscle fibers, that is painful when
    compressed and that can give rise to
    characteristic referred pain, tenderness, and

Causes of Head and Facial Pain
  • Trauma
  • Headaches
  • Migraine
  • Two types of migraine headaches migraine without
    aura (common migraine), and migraine with aura
  • Migraine without aura Symptoms are typically
    unilateral with a pulsating quality of moderate
    or severe intensity. Aggravated by routine
    physical activity, and is associated with nausea,
    auras, photophobia, and phonophobia
  • Migraine with aura Characterized by reversible
    aura symptoms, which typically develop gradually
    over more than 4 minutes, but last no longer than
    60 minutes

Causes of Head and Facial Pain
  • Headaches
  • Cluster
  • Severe unilateral retro-orbital headaches
  • Often accompanied by nasal congestion, eye-lid
    edema, rhinorrhea, miosis, lacrimation, and
    ptosis (drooping eyelid) on the symptomatic side
  • Patients feel better during a headache by
    remaining in an erect posture and moving about
  • Tension-type
  • Those associated with a disorder of the
    pericranial muscles, and those not associated
    with this type of disorder
  • Characterized by a bilateral non-throbbing ache
    in the frontal or temporal areas, and spasm, or
    hypertonus of the neck muscles

Causes of Head and Facial Pain
  • Headaches
  • Benign exertional
  • Headache is specifically brought on by physical
    exercise, particularly with straining and
    valsalva type maneuvers such as those seen in
  • Bilateral, throbbing in nature at onset and may
    develop migrainous features in those patients
    susceptible to migraine
  • Effort induced
  • Differ from the exertional headaches in that they
    are not necessarily associated with a power or
    straining type of exercise
  • Occur more frequently in hot weather

Causes of Head and Facial Pain
  • Headaches
  • Occipital
  • Likely referred from a cervical disorder
  • The underlying musculoskeletal mechanism for this
    type of headache is often structural, including
    cervical hypomobility or hypermobility, joint
    subluxation, degenerative bony changes, or poor
  • Hypertensive
  • Occurs in individuals with diastolic readings
    above 120 mm Hg, although the intensity of these
    headaches does not necessarily parallel the
    height of the blood pressure levels

Causes of Head and Facial Pain
  • Headaches
  • External compression headache
  • This entity, formerly known as swim-goggle
    headache, presents with pain in the facial and
    temporal areas produced from wearing excessively
    tight face masks or swimming goggles
  • Idiopathic carotidynia
  • Unilateral facial or orbital pain in half of the
    patients with this condition
  • Most commonly located in the frontotemporal area,
    but it occasionally involves the entire
    hemicranium or the occipital area
  • Chronic daily
  • Follows trauma to the head or neck

Causes of Head and Facial Pain
  • Headaches
  • Post-traumatic
  • More prolonged and enduring headache than chronic
  • May be associated with subdural hematoma, an
    epidural hematoma, an intracerebral hematoma, an
    aneurysm, a subarachnoid hemorrhage or a cerebral

Causes of Head and Facial Pain
  • Occipital neuralgia
  • A rare neuralgic disorder involving the greater
    occipital nerve
  • Glossopharyngeal neuralgia
  • Characterized by intense unilateral attacks of
    pain in the retrolingual area radiating to the
    depth of the ear
  • The pain is typically aggravated by movement or
    contact with the pharynx, especially with

Causes of Head and Facial Pain
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Chronic pain syndrome characterized by dramatic,
    brief stabbing or electric shock-like pain
    paroxysms felt in one or more divisions of the
    trigeminal distribution, either spontaneously or
    on gentle tactile stimulation of a trigger point
    on the face or in the oral cavity
  • Bells palsy
  • A lower motor neuron disease of the facial nerve
    characterized by a wide range of facial muscle
    movement dysfunction from mild paresis to total

Causes of Head and Facial Pain
  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome
  • A herpetic inflammation of the geniculate and/or
    facial nerve ganglia, manifests as a peripheral
    facial nerve palsy accompanied by an erythematous
    vesicular rash on the ear (zoster oticus) or in
    the mouth
  • Arteriovenous malformation
  • Congenital malformation

Causes of Head and Facial Pain
  • Meningitis
  • An infection of the meninges and subarachnoid
  • Classic triad of fever, neck stiffness, and an
    altered mental status
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Dependent on the size and location of the
  • Intracranial bleed
  • Dependent on the rate of arterial or venous

Causes of Head and Facial Pain
  • Tumor
  • Tumors, benign or otherwise are space-occupying
    lesions that may increase to a size that
    compresses nearby structures or increases
    intracranial pressure
  • Encephalitis
  • An inflammation of the brain

Causes of Head and Facial Pain
  • Systemic infections
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Lyme disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Pyelonephritis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Optic neuritis

Causes of Head and Facial Pain
  • Miscellaneous
  • Temporal arteritis
  • Acute sinusitis
  • Eclampsia
  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) hypotension
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
  • Peridontal disease
  • Thyroiditis
  • Fracture of the facial bones or skull
  • Trochleitis

Causes of Cervical Pain
  • Thyroid disease
  • Widespread manifestations including cervical pain
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Retropharyngeal abscess
  • Infection of the space anterior to the
    prevertebral layer of the deep cervical fascia
  • Carotodynia

Causes of Cervical Pain
  • Cardiac disease
  • Trauma
  • Tumor
  • Tumors of the adult cervical spine may be
    primary, arising from the bone, or secondary
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction
  • Meningitis

Causes of Cervical Pain
  • Cervical disk disease
  • Vertebral artery disorder
  • Torticollis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Cervical spine involvement is common in
    rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis commonly affects the C 1-2

Causes of Cervical Pain
  • Gout
  • Although the occurrence of gout in the neck is
    distinctly uncommon, the medications used to
    treat it can have serious side-effects in this
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Occipital neuralgia

Causes of Thoracic Pain
  • Gastrointestinal conditions
  • Pancreatic carcinoma
  • Mediastinal tumors
  • Although primary tumors of the thoracic spine are
    rare, the thoracic spine is the most common site
    for metastases
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Pleuropulmonary conditions
  • Thoracic disk
  • Vertebral or rib fracture
  • Intercostal neuralgia

Causes of Thoracic Pain
  • Epidemic myalgia
  • Costochondritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis (DISH)
  • Characterized by an ossification of the anterior
    longitudinal ligaments and all related,
    anatomically similar ligaments
  • Manubrium-sternal dislocations

Causes of Lumbar Pain
  • Strain or sprain
  • Renal disorder
  • Epidural abscess
  • Prostatitis
  • Pleural dysfunction
  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Metastasis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Stiff-person syndrome

Causes of Buttock and Upper and Lower Leg Pain
  • Lumbar disc herniation
  • Femoral nerve neuropathy
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Sacral plexopathy
  • Intermittent claudication
  • Conus medullaris syndrome
  • Severe low back and buttock pain, lower limb
    weakness, saddle hypesthesia or anesthesia.
    Bowel and bladder changes are also frequently
  • Meralgia paresthetica

Causes of Buttock and Upper and Lower Leg Pain
  • Iliofemoral thrombophlebitis
  • Mononeuritis multiplex
  • May occur in association with a number of other
    medical conditions including rheumatoid arthritis
    (RA), vasculitis, polyarteritis nodosa, diabetes
    mellitus, sarcoidosis, and amyloidosis
  • Ischial apophysitis and avulsion
  • Gluteal compartment syndrome
  • Genital herpes
  • Vascular Disorders

Causes of Pelvic Pain
  • Sacroiliac arthritis
  • Acute appendicitis
  • Iliopsoas abscess
  • Iliopsoas hematoma
  • Sign of the buttock
  • Gynecologic disorders
  • Prostate cancer

Causes of Trochanteric, Pubic, and Thigh pain
  • Dislocation and fracture dislocation of the
  • Labral tear
  • Hip or pelvis fracture
  • Pubic fracture
  • Femoral neck stress fracture
  • Osteoarthritis of the hip
  • Septic arthritis of the hip
  • Osteoid osteoma
  • Reiters syndrome

Causes of Trochanteric, Pubic, and Thigh pain
  • Synovitis of the hip in children or adolescents
  • Avascular necrosis of the femoral head
  • Iliopsoas abscess
  • Iliofemoral venous thrombosis
  • Obturator, femoral or inguinal hernia
  • Osteomyelitis of the pubis

Causes of Trochanteric, Pubic, and Thigh pain
  • Compartment syndrome
  • Myoneural anoxia results from a prolonged
    increase in tissue pressure within a closed
    osseofascial space. This compromises local blood
    flow of skeletal muscle, resulting in ischemia
    and necrosis
  • Sexually transmitted disease

Causes of shoulder pain
  • Tendinous and capsular lesions
  • Traumatic synovitis
  • Subluxation/dislocation
  • Spondyloarthropy
  • Acute arthritis
  • Infections/tumors
  • Clay shovelers fracture
  • A traction fracture of the lower cervical or
    upper thoracic spine due to an excessive pull of
    the trapezius, rhomboid muscles during heavy work

Causes of shoulder pain
  • Degenerative conditions
  • Vascular conditions
  • Metabolic conditions
  • Osseous lesions
  • Muscular lesions
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Guillian-Barre

Causes of shoulder pain
  • Syringomyelia
  • Cervical radicular pain
  • Elbow dysfunction
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Peripheral nerve entrapment

Causes of shoulder pain
  • Brachial plexopathy
  • Herpes Zoster
  • Gallbladder dysfunction
  • Cardiac dysfunction
  • Pulmonary dysfunction
  • Visceral
  • Diaphragm
  • Spleen

Causes of elbow and forearm pain
  • Fracture
  • Dislocation
  • Osteochondritis
  • Ligament sprain
  • Arthrosis
  • Peripheral nerve entrapment

Causes of elbow and forearm pain
  • Soft tissue injury or tendinitis (lateral
    epicondylitis, medial epicondylitis, triceps
    tendinitis, bicipital tendinitis, brachialis
    tendinitis and Little League elbow)
  • Infective arthritis
  • Polyarthritis
  • Gout
  • Bursitis
  • Vascular disorder
  • Referred pain from shoulder/neck

Causes of wrist, hand and finger pain
  • Fracture
  • Sprains and dislocations
  • Triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) lesions
  • Tenosynovitis
  • Tendinitis
  • Carpal instability
  • Gout

Causes of wrist, hand and finger pain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Infection
  • Kienböcks disease
  • Ganglia

Causes of wrist, hand and finger pain
  • Tumor
  • Peripheral nerve entrapment
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Vascular occlusion
  • Scleroderma
  • Mononeuritis multiplex
  • Viscerogenic

Causes of generalized Knee Pain
  • Fracture (supracondylar, patellar, proximal
  • Acute dislocation of the knee
  • Acute dislocation of the patella
  • Intra-articular ligament injury
  • Mono- and polyarthritis
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Referred pain from the hip or lumbar spine

Causes of anterior knee pain
  • Musculoskeletal causes
  • Osgood Schlatters disease
  • Jumpers knee
  • Bipartite patella
  • Trauma-related causes
  • Osteochondritis dissicans
  • Bone contusion

Causes of anterior knee pain
  • Miscellaneous causes
  • Tumor
  • Plical irritation
  • Hoffas syndrome
  • Osteomyelitis of the patella
  • Bursitis
  • Excessive lateral pressure syndrome
  • Maltracking of the patella
  • Iatrogenic causes
  • Infrapatellar contracture syndrome

Causes of medial knee Pain
  • Medial meniscus tear
  • Medial collateral ligament sprain
  • Medial collateral bursitis
  • Hoffas disease
  • Pes anserine bursitis
  • Semimembranosus tendinitis

Causes of lateral knee pain
  • Iliotibial band friction syndrome
  • Popliteus tenosynovitis
  • Popliteus tendon rupture
  • Lateral meniscal tear
  • Lateral collateral ligament sprain
  • Tibiofibular disorder
  • Biceps femoris tendinitis
  • Osteochondral fracture of the lateral femoral

Causes of posterior knee pain
  • Gastrocnemius muscle strain or rupture
  • Plantaris muscle strain or rupture
  • Hamstring muscle and tendon disorder
  • Rupture of a popliteal artery aneurysm
  • PCL/posterior capsule tear
  • Bakers cyst

Causes of lower leg pain
  • Anterolateral lower leg pain
  • Anterior compartment syndrome
  • The clinical signs of compartment syndrome are
    often remembered by using the mnemonic of the 5
    Ps pain, paresthesia, paresis, pallor, and
  • Lateral compartment syndrome
  • Often misdiagnosed as tenosynovitis of the
    tibialis anterior and flexor hallucis longus,
    fibular stress fracture, or a lateral
    gastrocnemius strain
  • Irritation of the superficial peroneal nerve
  • Muscle strain

Causes of lower leg pain
  • Calf pain
  • Pyomyositis
  • Spontaneous muscle abscess of skeletal muscle
  • Fibula shaft fracture
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Hematoma
  • Rupture of Achilles tendon
  • Soleus muscle strain
  • Acute posterior compartment syndrome
  • Causes include a deep vein thrombosis, rupture of
    a Bakers cyst, and a spontaneous rupture of the
    medial head of the gastrocnemius

Causes of lower leg pain
  • Anteromedial lower leg pain
  • Stress fracture of the tibia
  • Medial tibial stress syndrome
  • Saphenous neuritis
  • Osteomyelitis of the tibia

Causes of generalized ankle pain
  • Crystal-induced arthropathies
  • Gout and pseudogout
  • Ligament sprain
  • Tendinitis
  • Fracture
  • Bursitis
  • Os trigonum
  • Failure of the lateral tubercle, of the posterior
    process, to unite with the body of the talus
    during ossification, producing an impingement
    with extreme plantar flexion

Causes of generalized ankle pain
  • Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD)
  • Actually a "transchondral fracture" secondary to
  • Onset of pain is usually insidious, but there may
    be some prior macrotrauma

Causes of generalized foot pain
  • Infection
  • Necrotizing fasciitis
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Gout and pseudogout
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Peripheral polyneuropathy

Causes of generalized foot pain
  • Systemic causes
  • Carcinoma
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Myeloma
  • Amyloidosis
  • Connective tissue diseases (polyarteritis nodosa,
  • Renal failure
  • AIDS
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Cutaneous disorders

Causes of forefoot pain
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Freibergs disease
  • Mortons neuroma
  • Arthritis
  • Fracture
  • Forefoot sprain
  • Bursitis

Causes of plantar hindfoot pain
  • Fat pad disorders
  • Calcaneus stress fracture
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Entrapment neuropathy of first branch of lateral
    plantar nerve
  • Flexor tendinitis

Causes of posterior hindfoot pain
  • Superficial Achilles bursitis
  • Retrocalcaneal bursitis
  • Haglunds syndrome
  • Achilles tendinitis/Achilles tendon rupture
  • Calcaneal osteomyelitis

Causes of medial hindfoot pain
  • Tibialis posterior tendinitis
  • Flexor hallucis longus tendinitis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Calcaneal fracture
  • Medial ankle sprain

Causes of lateral hindfoot pain
  • Peroneal muscle strain/tendinitis
  • Lateral ankle sprain
  • Osteochondral fracture of talar dome
  • Sural nerve entrapment
  • Stress fracture of lateral malleolus

Causes of medial forefoot and great toe pain
  • Nail lesions
  • Hallux valgus
  • Hallux rigidus
  • Arthritis of 1st MTP

Causes of midfoot pain
  • Longitudinal arch strain
  • Aseptic necrosis of the navicular
  • Tendinitis of flexor hallucis longus or peroneal
  • Subtalar osteochondral fracture
  • Accessory navicular
  • Köhlers Bone disease

Causes of midfoot pain
  • Stress fracture of navicular
  • Acquired flatfoot
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Plantar fascial pain
  • Cuboid subluxation syndrome

Causes of dorsal foot pain
  • Tendinitis of
  • Extensor hallucis longus
  • Extensor digitorum longus
  • Tibialis anterior
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