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pGALS - paediatric Gait Arms Legs and Spine: a simple examination of the musculoskeletal system

Lookup NU author(s): Emerita Professor Helen Foster, Dr Sharmila Jandial



We describe pGALS (paediatric Gait, Arms, Legs and Spine) - a simple quick musculoskeletal assessment to distinguish abnormal from normal joints in children and young people. The use of pGALS is aimed at the non-specialist in paediatric musculoskeletal medicine as a basic clinical skill to be used in conjunction with essential knowledge about red flags, normal development and awareness of patterns of musculoskeletal pathologies. pGALS has been validated in school-aged children and also in the context of acute general paediatrics to detect abnormal joints. We propose that pGALS is an important part of basic clinical skills to be acquired by all doctors who may be involved in the care of children. The learning of pGALS along with basic knowledge is a useful way to increase awareness of joint disease, facilitate early recognition of joint problems and prompt referral to specialist teams to optimise clinical outcomes. We have compiled this article as a resource that can be used by the paediatric rheumatology community to facilitate teaching.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Foster HE, Jandial S

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Pediatric Rheumatology

Year: 2013

Volume: 11

Print publication date: 12/11/2013

ISSN (electronic): 1546-0096



DOI: 10.1186/1546-0096-11-44