The orthopaedic examination is based on the Description of Specialty Practice in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy. The areas tested are 1) the practice dimensions and professional responsibilities and 2) the knowledge areas and procedures. The examination questions are linked to those two major areas. For example, to perform a patient evaluation you must have a knowledge of anatomy and physiology of the musculoskeletal system. To select a procedural intervention, you must have a knowledge of movement science. Below is an overview of the two linked areas. In addition, the examination questions are distributed over body regions.
The practice dimensions and professional responsibilities identify what orthopaedic clinical specialists do in their day-to-day professional roles. The responsibilities are linked to knowledge areas, procedures in the examination questions.
This Matrix focuses on knowledge areas and procedures that orthopaedic clinical specialists use in their work. The questions on the examination will be approximately distributed according to the following percentages of content areas.
1. Human Anatomy and Physiology (10%)
2. Movement Science (10%)
3. Pathophysiology (10%)
4. Orthopaedic Medicine/Surgical Intervention (10%)
5. Evidence Based Orthopaedic Theory and Practice (10%)
6. Critical Inquiry/Evidence Based Practice (10%)
7. Examination* (20%)
8. Procedural Intervention (20%)
*Note: The examination is not testing performance of an actual examination. Rather, it is testing the critical thinking processes related in examination.
Percentage of questions by body regions were determined by a subject matter expert group. The percentages given are approximate and may not represent the exact distribution of questions on the actual exam.
1. Cranial/Mandibular (5%)
2a. Spine: Cervical (15%)
2b. Spine: Thoracic spine/ribs (5%)
2c. Spine: Lumbar (20%)
3a. Upper Extremity: Shoulder/shoulder girdle (15%)
3b. Upper Extremity: Arm/elbow (5%)
3c. Upper Extremity: Wrist/hand (5%)
4. Pelvic Girdle/Sacroiliac/Coccyx/Abdomen (5%)
5a. Lower Extremity: Hip (5%)
5b. Lower Extremity: Thigh/knee (10%)
5c. Lower Extremity: Leg/ankle/foot (10%)
American Physical Therapy Association | 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-1488 703/684-APTA (2782) | 800/999-2782 | 703/683-6748 (TDD) | 703/684-7343 (fax)
Contact ABPTS | Follow ABPTS
All contents © 2015 American Physical Therapy Association. All Rights Reserved.