• All questions on the exam relate to the competencies outlined in the book Orthopaedic Physical Therapy: Description of Specialty Practice (DSP).

    The board-certified orthopaedic physical therapy specialist examination is based on the below listed major competency areas. Each competency area is subdivided into specific objectives in Chapter 2. The percentage of the exam devoted to each of these areas is outlined below. These percentages are based on survey responses by members of the Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Association, and the opinions of a group of subject matter experts. Each question in the item bank is categorized according to the competency area, and when the test is constructed the question distribution on the exam approximately reflects these percentages.

    I. Knowledge Areas and Procedures

    A. Human Anatomy and Physiology (10%)

    B. Movement Science (10%)

    C. Pathology/Pathophysiology/Pain Science (10%)

    D. Medical/Surgical Interventions (10%)

    E. Orthopaedic Physical Therapy and Practice (10%)

    F. Critical Inquiry for Evidence Based Practice (10%)
         1. Other Professional Roles/Responsibilities/Values

    G. Examination/Evaluation/Diagnosis (20%)

    H. Prognosis/Interventions/Outcomes (20%)

    TOTAL 100%

    II. Body Regions and Percentages

    The following chart reflects current orthopaedic clinical specialist practice based on survey responses. The Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist Examination will reflect these approximate percentages.

    A. Head/Maxillofacial/Craniomandibular (3%)
    B. Cervical Spine (13%)
    C. Thoracic Spine/Ribs (6%)
    D. Lumbar Spine (20%)
    E. Pelvis/Sacroiliac/Coccyx/Abdomen (7%)
    F. Shoulder/Shoulder Girdle (15%)
    G. Arm/Elbow (4%)
    H. Wrist/Hand (4%)
    I. Hip (7%)
    J. Thigh/Knee (12%)
    K. Leg/Ankle/Foot (9%)
    TOTAL 100%

  • Last Updated: 6/20/2017
    Contact: spec-cert@apta.org