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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: August 2009

24 - Basic science oral core topics

from Section 8 - The basic science oral



The FRCS Orth examination will definitely test you on aspects of basic science – in the past there has commonly been a surgical approach question in the written paper, and although the format is changing it is highly likely that the emphasis and content of questions will not. Critical appraisal of a journal article will remain a part of the revised examination and will require a working knowledge of statistics.

The Basic Science Oral is often feared by candidates, but having established that there is no avoiding it, the key to understanding basic science in orthopaedics and to making it stick in your head is to keep it clinically relevant and to concentrate on understanding concepts rather than learning lists of esoteric facts.

The Basic Science section of the syllabus includes the following headings:



Physiology, biochemistry and genetics

Biomechanics and bioengineering

Bone and joint diseases



Metabolic bone diseases

Rheumatoid arthritis and other arthropathies (inflammatory, crystal, etc.)


Inherited musculoskeletal disorders

Neuromuscular disorders – inherited and acquired



Heterotopic ossification

Bone and soft-tissue sarcomas


Orthopaedic oncology


Operative topics

Infection, thromboembolism and pain

Prosthetics and orthotics

Research and audit

Medical ethics

This section of the guide will take you through areas that are commonly tested from the above list. The content cannot be comprehensive; you should check through the above list after reading this chapter and identify areas of weakness in your knowledge that remain.

Anatomy will not be covered here as it is a topic well dealt with in other revision texts.

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