Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions

Musculoskeletal Pathology

Module titleMusculoskeletal Pathology
Module codePAMM101
Academic year2019/0
Module staff

Dr Martin Benwell (Convenor)

Dr Christine Heales (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module will introduce you to a range of pathological conditions associated with the musculoskeletal system and develop your understanding and identification of the typical radiological appearances.  These will include degenerative and erosive arthritis, metabolic and inflammatory disease, benign and malignant tumours, congenital and genetic disease and other common miscellaneous diseases. It will consolidate your understanding of osteology and allow you to apply it to pathological processes. 

Students undertaking this module should be familiar with projection radiography images and have an understanding of anatomy and physiology.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module will ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the pathogenesis and radiographic appearances of the various pathologies and conditions which can affect the musculoskeletal system.  You will consequently apply this knowledge of the underlying pathological processes in order to arrive at an accurate interpretation of the radiographic appearances. 

The module also aims to support you in developing your knowledge of osseous development through to skeletal maturity and apply this to your understanding of a range of pathological processes such as fracture healing and bone metabolism.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Recognise a range of typical radiographic appearances and common pathological processes on projection radiographs of the musculoskeletal system, linking to clinical presentation and risk factors.
  • 2. Working from the current evidence-base, identify radiographic appearances relative to normal osseous development and in relation to physiological processes.
  • 3. Apply advanced knowledge and undertake analysis of appropriate information in order to develop a deep understanding of the underlying physiological and pathological processes which result in differing radiological appearances as demonstrated on projection radiographs.
  • 4. Produce a written report which is clinically useful and relative to the clinical questions the radiographic examination is intended to answer.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Use medical vocabulary and accurate terminology to describe image findings precisely in all teaching and learning activities.
  • 6. Undertake analysis of complex image findings and cases and apply advanced theoretical knowledge in the evaluation of findings in the context of the most recent evidence-base.
  • 7. Evaluate the context of the radiological report in light of the clinical indications and how it may impact on the subsequent management of the patient.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Identify, evaluate and maintain qualities to support effective communication in a range of complex and specialised contexts
  • 9. Exercise initiative and personal responsibility for independent learning and continuing professional development.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, an example of an overall structure is as follows:

This module will introduce students to a wide range of musculoskeletal pathologies and will enable the development of a comprehensive appreciation of the typical associated radiological appearances.

Normal osseous development of the skeleton; this will cover ossification, bone formation and normal skeletal development. The osteology of fracture healing will also be included.

Bone metabolism: exploring normal bone metabolism and how the various metabolic bone diseases impact on the skeleton and the common radiological appearances. Examples of the disorders would include osteoporosis, osteomalacia, hyperparathyroidism and renal disease.

Other pathologies covered in the module include:

Arthritis; degenerative joint disease, inflammatory arthritis such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and the seronegative arthropathies (i.e. ankylosing spondylitis). The pathogenesis of the various arthritis will be correlated with radiological appearances.

Neoplasms: both benign and aggressive bone tumours. Students will be equipped with the knowledge to be able to differentiate between the different types of bone tumours using clinical information and radiographic appearances. They will gain an appreciation of the pathological processes involved and potential complications that may be associated with tumours of bone.

Other skeletal pathologies in the syllabus include; common congenital dysplasia’s, osteomyelitis and peripheral neuropathy associated with diabetes and effects on the appendicular skeleton.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities15Lectures - to be delivered over five 2-day teaching blocks, with 2 hours of lectures or seminars each day
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities10Image viewing/test banks
Guided independent study75Assessment preparation
Guided independent study50Guided reading


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Image interpretation3 test banks1,2,4,5,6,8,9Verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Poster and presentation10015 minute individual presentation1-9Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Poster and presentation15 minute individual presentation resubmission of the original work 1-9Typically within twelve weeks of the result

Re-assessment notes




Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Interpreting Trauma Radiographs,  McConnell J., Eyres R. and Nightingale J. (2005), Blackwell, ISBNA 1-4051-1534 (UL: 616.0757 MAC)

Accident and Emergency Radiology - A Survival Guide, Raby N. (2003), (2nd edition), Saunders Ltd, ISBNA 0-702-02667-0 (UL: 616.0757 RAB)

Fundamentals of skeletal radiology,Helms, Clyde A, (2014) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania : Elsevier Saunders, ISBN-13: 9780781750066ISBN-10: 1455751545

Grainger and Allison's diagnostic radiology : a textbook of medical imaging, Grainger R, Allison D, (2001), (4th Edition), London : Churchill Livingstone, ISBN 0443064326 

Orthopaedic radiology : pattern recognition and differential diagnosis, Renton P, (1998) (2nd edition), London : M. Dunitz, ISBN 1853174343


Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Pathology, osteology, arthritis, metabolic, disease, radiology

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date