The gait, arms, legs and spine (GALS) locomotor screening examination encourages doctors to make an initial examination of the joints.1 It combines techniques used by experienced consultants in the initial assessment of a patient who may have musculoskeletal problems. This technique is taught in all British medical schools and features commonly in OSCE examinations,2 and takes 5 minutes to perform (Box). As with several other physical examination techniques, its sensitivity and specificity for detecting joint disease has not been formally evaluated; it does not detect all conditions with soft tissue or significant systemic involvement.
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