UMEM Educational Pearls

Orthopedic documentation

1) Document location with specificity and laterality.

2) Document the location with as much specificity as possible

-Name of specific bone and specific site on bone (Shaft, head, neck, distal, proximal, styloid)

3) Document fractures as open/closed, displaced vs. non-displaced, routine or delayed healing,

-Orientation of fractures, such as transverse, oblique, spiral

- Document intra-articular or extra-articular involvement

4) For a particular injury, a complete note will include mention of the following

The joint above (e.g. for shoulder injuries this would be the neck, for hip injuries - the back)

The joint below

Motor (e.g. for arm injuries document the distal median, radial and ulnar motor innervation)



Skin (for all fractures document intact overlying skin esp. when covering with a splint)

Compartments (a simple mention of compartments are grossly soft/not tense will suffice)

*Especially relevant for forearm and tib/fib injuries