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Wednesday 24 July 2019
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Hand and Wrist Service

About our service - an overview

Musculoskeletal problems refer to disorders of muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and joints.  They can affect all areas of the body including the spine, arms, legs, hands and feet.


The Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (MSK CATS) is a ‘one-stop shop’ where problems are assessed, diagnosed and treated, where possible, in one appointment using a patient centred approach. 

Initially you will have the opportunity to explain your problem and communicate your expectations for the session.  Further questions may be asked by the clinician to explore your problem in more detail.  Other questions will be asked relating to your past medical history, medication, work status and social interests so that the clinician has an appreciation of all aspects of your life and the implications of your problem on your quality of life.

Following this discussion there will be a physical examination, which normally involves suitably exposing the relevant areas of the body. Various movements will be observed and often clinical tests are carried out.  Other areas of the body are often screened to make sure the symptoms aren’t coming from elsewhere.

Once both of these aspects have been completed the clinician will discuss the diagnosis and available treatment options to allow the patient to decide which is best suited to them as an individual.  If appropriate, further investigations can be arranged and a follow up appointment would be made to discuss the results and available treatment options based on this information.  This can be done either by telephone or face to face to suit the patient.

Clinical examination commonly gives enough information to diagnose the problem.  Not all problems require further investigation and are only indicated if it will provide further information to change how your problem could be managed.