Measuring Atrophy in The Impairment Physical Exam

10 April 2012 / Impairment Physical Exam / Comments Off on Measuring Atrophy in The Impairment Physical Exam

“Atrophy is measured with a tape measure at identical levels on both limbs. For reasons of reproducibility, the difference in circumference should be 2 cm or greater in the thigh and 1 cm or greater in the arm, forearm or leg.” (page 382, Box 15-1, Chapter 15, The Spine, AMA Guides 5th Edition, AMA Press, 2004)

 

For neck and upper extremity injuries measure right and left side circumferences for comparison. For the upper extremities measure mid bicep, mid forearm and wrists. If rating specifically elbows, also include the elbow measurements here.

 

Likewise, for lower extremity cases, measure mid thigh, calf and ankle. The thigh is measured 10 cm above the patella, and the calf is measured at the maximum level bilaterally (page 530, Chapter 17, The Lower Extremities, AMA Guides 5th Edition, AMA Press, 2004).If rating the knee, also include the knee measurements.

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