Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Orthopedic Teaching

Soft Tissue Case 2 History/Physical Exam

Intraarticular wound (air in joint space)

History and Physical Exam

Any laceration within the vicinity of a joint should raise suspicion for the possibility of a traumatic arthrotomy.

Signs that a wound may have penetrated the joint include proximity, effusion, loss of motion, or an exposed joint on physical exam. Probing the wound can confirm joint penetration but does not necessarily rule out intraarticular involvement.