Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Musculoskeletal System

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

DESCRIPTION This study-unit highlights the inter-relationships among bones, joints, the muscles and nerves to form functional units centred around the movements of the body. It is subdivided into trunk and limbs. The study-unit examines the musculoskeletal structures using prosected specimens, radiology and other types of imaging and clinical examination in living individuals intended to form a sound basis for clinical practice.

In addition to lectures, students will be exposed to practical hands-on anatomy demonstrations in clinical anatomy, imaging, and pathology. During these sessions students are stimulated to perform specified tasks and guided as to what is expected of them through worksheets. The tutorials will also include Critical Thinking Sessions, which are based on carefully selected clinical cases that are intended to stimulate the student to think and discuss critically the presented problems and to formulate basic scientific and clinical concepts as well as ethical, behavioural and professional principles.

The study-unit will also include seminars wherein clinicians together with experts in various disciplines will discuss common clinical conditions and supplement the clinical information presented in the Critical Thinking Sessions.

The common features of these learning sessions is that they involve active participation, are student-centered and conducive to independent learning as a prelude to continuing life-long education.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to provide:
- An in-depth knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the musculoskeletal system, including the muscles, nerves and joints involved;
- A foundation for the development of the skills of clinical examination of movements of the limb and trunk;
- An understanding of the anatomical and physiological basis of common clinical conditions involving the musculoskeletal system.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- describe the structure and inter-relations of the bones, joints, muscles, nerves and blood vessels;
- discuss the embryology of the development of the limbs;
- describe the biochemical and physiological basis of the normal processes present in the musculoskeletal system, both in health and disease;
- explain the anatomical and physiological basis of common clinical conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system;
- outline the ultrastructure and molecular mechanisms mediating muscle contraction;
- discuss muscle energy metabolism during rest and disease.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- identify on radiographs, CT scans and MRIs the bones and joints of the upper and lower limbs, chest, trunk, back and neck;
- name the muscles and movements of the joints of the body, and the nerves supplying them on an individual;
- demonstrate on individuals the muscles and movements of the joints of the body, and the nerves supplying them;
- examine on individuals the muscles and movements of the joints of the body, and the nerves supplying them;
- perform a clinical examination of the joints of the body;
- map out the distribution of dermatomes and myotomes of the head, trunk upper and lower limbs, external genitalia and perineum;
- interpret the motor and sensory consequences of damage or injury to the nerves of the upper and lower limb; and
- palpate the pulses of the main arteries of the body and name the consequences of ischaemia due to obstruction.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts for Anatomy

- Clinical Anatomy by Regions, Richard. S. Snell, 9th Edition. 2012, Lipincott. ISBN-13: 978-1451110326; ISBN-10: 1451110324
- Clinical Anatomy by Systems, Richard. S. Snell, April 2006. ISBN-10: 0-7817-9164-2. ISBN-13: 978-0-7817-9164-9
- Imaging Atlas of Human Anatomy, Spratt, Salkowski, Loukas 5th Edition, 2017. I ISBN-13: 978-0723438267; ISBN-10: 0723438269
- Wheater's functional Histology. A text and colour atlas. Young Lowe, Stevens, Heath and Deakin, 5th Edition, 2006. Churchill Livingstone. ISBN-13: 978-0-443-06850-8. ISBN-10: 0-443-06850-X.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study, Seminar and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Progress Test (1 Hour and 30 Minutes) SEM1 Yes 50%
Online Examination (1 Hour and 30 Minutes) SEM2 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Tonio P. Agius
Kurt Apap
Jean Calleja Agius
Marie Therese Camilleri Podesta'
Elizabeth Cassar
Kevin Cassar
Ruben Cauchi
Sarah Cuschieri
Marie Claire Farrugia
Isabel Stabile
Jacob Vella

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.