The GP medical training website for everyone, not just Bradford.
Est. 2002

CHAT- trainee        CHAT-trainer        CHAT-TPD

Bradford VTS Online Resources:

Clinical Knowledge

Musculoskeletal Medicine, Orthopaedics & Rheumatology






If you have files you would like me to host on here and share with others, OR if you would like to help develop these pages further, then please email me.

Important features in the history

  • If you would like to have a go at adding some “top tips” to this page for this specialty (and have your name displayed proudly with bradfordvts),  please email me –

Important features in the Examination

Red Flags

Other Tips

  • Smythe points for fibromyalgia

Giant Cell Arteritis is an Emergency

Giant cell arteritis is a medical emergency, because prompt identification can prevent sight loss. Patients are sick and require long-term, high-dose oral steroids, a treatment that is not without risks of its own.  It is therefore important to have a high index of suspicion.

  • If you think GCA is highly probablye, you should take bloods that same day, start steroids and pick up the phone to speak to a rheumatologist.
  • If there is visual disturbance, you should arrange IMMEDIATE ophthalmology assessment.
  • If you think GCA is one of a number of possibilities, we should still pick up the phone and speak to rheumatology to agree a plan for further investigation and whether to start steroids.
  • GCA patients will end up on high doses of steroids
      • They need regular shared care follow-up to monitor comorbidities, e.g. hypertension, diabetes, and for side-effects.
      • All will need a steroid treatment and a steroid emergency card.
      • Nearly all will need bone and gastro-protection.

Please leave a comment if you have a tip, spot an error, spot something missing or have a suggestion for a web resource. And of course, if you have developed a resource of your own, please email it to me to share with others.

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