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Musculoskeletal disorders early diagnosis: A retrospective study in the occupational medicine setting

Author(s): Kulin John | Reaston MaryRose

Journal: Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology
ISSN 1745-6673

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Abstract Electrodiagnostic Functional Assessment (EFA) objectively evaluates injuries to muscles by incorporating surface electromyography (EMG) to measure myoelectrical signals of muscle groups recorded from up to 18 sensors placed on the skin surface while simultaneously assessing functional capacity at rest and during full range of motion. The evaluation is non-invasive and non-loading and provides measurements in real time. Soft-tissue damage of ligaments, tendons, and muscles, commonly referred to as sprains and strains, has proven to be very difficult to accurately diagnose and assess and represents the highest incidence rate, lost days and medical costs in the workers' compensation system. 100 patients presenting with work-related musculoskeletal injuries exhibiting physical complaints that persisted for at least two consecutive weeks for which no general medical explanation could be established after medical history and exam, were evaluated using EFA in our Occupational Clinic in New Jersey over a 36 month period. The results of this study demonstrated the clinical effectiveness of the EFA as an objective diagnostic aid for identifying and quantifying soft tissue injuries and devising site specific physical therapy treatment regimen to return the injured worker to full duty work release.
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