Musculoskeletal practices for the preparticipation physical examination

Connor Corrente, Matthew Silvis, Joseph Murphy, Robert Gallo, Cayce Onks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Little is known about the musculoskeletal (MSK) exam providers use during the Preparticipation Physical Examination (PPE). The primary aims of this study were to determine current practice with regards to the MSK screening exam, if goals are being met, and if there may be opportunities for improvement. Methods: This cross-sectional survey-based study utilized a REDCap instrument that was distributed to members of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM). Questions focused on participant demographics and MSK exam practices for the PPE. Descriptive statistics were used. Results: The study had a total of 616 participants with a response rate of 9 %. The majority of respondents (82 %) were familiar with the 4th Edition PPE Monograph and 80 % either moderately or strongly agreed that they use this as a guideline for their MSK screening exam. The 90 s MSK screening test was implemented by 52 % of the participants. The majority of participants use an orthopedic exam as part of their PPE (82 %). Ninety-two percent of participants felt satisfied that their MSK exam would screen for current injury, while only 42 % were satisfied that it effectively screened for future injury. 86 % of participants agree that the MSK exam should be performed, while 26 % said that they don’t perform a physical exam at all. Discussion: There is a lack of understanding of the PPE Monograph as there is wide variability in MSK screening techniques providers use despite the majority of participants being familiar with the guidelines described in the monograph. Additionally, providers don’t believe that the MSK exam screens for future injury. Conclusions: The goals of the MSK portion of the 4th Edition PPE monograph are not adequately being met and there is a need for further research to validate screening exams for the prevention of MSK injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number84
JournalBMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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