Chapter 49: Pain and Swelling of Joints

Musculoskeletal complaints are extremely common in outpatient medical practice and are among the leading cause of disability and absenteeism from work. Pain in the joints must be evaluated in a uniform, thorough, and logical fashion to ensure the best chance of accurate diagnosis and to plan appropriate follow-up testing and therapy. Joint pain and swelling may be manifestations of disorders affecting primarily the musculoskeletal system or may reflect systemic disease.

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