Advanced Dissection in Musculoskeletal Management

The PT Department provides the 3rd year DPT student additional dissecting opportunities in the Gross Anatomy Laboratory. As part of the advanced musculoskeletal course series, the 3rd year DPT students perform advanced, clinically-based dissections which include the joints of the spine, rib cage, and extremities. 

The dissection assignments/topics are correlated with physical therapy tests and measures, manual therapy procedures and interventions, palpation assessment and other physical therapy procedures.  The goal of the dissection assignment is provide a means to integrate the concepts of tests and measures and interventions learned 2nd year with the advanced clinical decision making and skills learned 3rd year. These clinically-based dissections are advanced beyond the cadaver dissections that are performed in the 1st year of the program during Advanced Human Anatomy.  

The students work in small groups to complete the dissection assignment and are required to conduct an oral presentation of their assignment to the class.  

Examples of the dissection assignments include:

  • 1st rib: detailed examination and dissection of the 1st rib and its articulations and related neuromusculoskeletal and vascular structures
  • Upper Cervical Spine: detailed examination and dissection of the upper cervical spine 
  • Facet Joints: detailed dissection of the lumbar facet joints, intervertebral foramina, and central canal, and associated ligaments and neurovasculature
  • Thoracolumbar fascia: detailed dissection of the thoracolumbar fascia and musculature of the lumbar spine 

Click here for more information about the UMES PT Department Gross Anatomy Laboratory.
Click here for more information about the  curriculum sequence.

3rd year students performing dissection of the upper cervical spine
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