Joint/Limb Pain

  • Given a patient presenting with joint or limb pain, perform a patient-centred interview and focused physical exam, list and interpret clinical findings
  • Be able to differentiate between joint and soft tissue pathology on history and physical exam
  • Be able to describe the differences between inflammatory arthritis, crystal arthropathies and osteoarthritis based on history, physical exam, radiographic and laboratory findings.
  • Be able to recognize and investigate an acute, red joint
  • For common joint/limb pain conditions: (eg. knee osteoarthritis)
    • Make a diagnosis based on history and physical examination
    • List the relevant investigations
    • Propose an initial treatment plan
  • Identify the indications for referral for surgical intervention in joint pain secondary to osteoarthritis


Approach to Limb Injury

Karram JJ, Keegan DA.  <em>Approach to Limb Injury. </em> Canadian Family Medicine Clinical Card.  2015.  Available at:

Joint Pain 1- Arthritis

Kendal JK, Keegan DA.  <em>Joint Pain 1: Arthritis.  Canadian Family Medicine Clinical Card. </em> 2014.  Available at:

Joint Pain 2 - Upper Limb

Kendal JK, Karram JJ, Keegan DA.  <em>Joint Pain 2: Upper Limb.  Canadian Family Medicine Clinical Card. </em> 2014.  Available at:

Joint Pain 3 - Lower Limb

Karram JJ, Kendal JK, Keegan DA. <em> Joint Pain 3: Lower Limb.  Canadian Family Medicine Clinical Card.  </em>2015.  Available at:

OA Tool

Arthritis Alliance of Canada, the Centre for Effective Practice and the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Osteoarthritis Tool. June 2017.

Degenerative Vs Inflammatory Joint Disease

The Calgary Guide to Understanding Disease.  <em>Distinguishing between Inflammatory and Degenerative Joint Disease.</em>  YEAR.  Available at:

Diagnostic Approach to Polyarticular Joint Pain

Mies Richie A, Francis ML. <em>Diagnostic approach to polyarticular joint pain.</em> Am Fam Physician. 2003;68(6):1151-1160.