The aim of this unit is to build on students developing knowledge of pathology gained in HHY1271, HHY2172, HHY2273, HHY3274 by developing an in depth understanding of pathological conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system and critically reviewing them in the context of osteopathic practice. Major topic areas include: bone fractures and their healing; osteomyelitis; osteoporosis; osteomalacia; Paget's disease; fibrous dysplasia; osteoarthritis; hypertrophic osteoarthropathy; degenerative disease of the intervertebral disc; acute I/V disc herniation; rheumatoid disease; ankylosing spondylitis; Reiter's disease; psoriatic arthritis; enteropathic arthritis; gout; CPPD deposition disease; systemic lupus erythematosus; progressive systemic sclerosis; polymyositis; dermatomyositis polymyalgia rheumatica; mixed connective tissue disease. Common and life-threatening diseases will be highlighted.   

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


HHD4186 - Clinical Diagnosis and Management 5 (Rheumatology)

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate in depth understanding of the complex pathogenesis and variable clinical expression of common rheumatological conditions and autoimmune diseases;  
  2. Critically reflect on how osteopathic manual techniques can be used to impact the pathological processes encountered in rheumatological and auto-immune diseases;  
  3. Apply acquired knowledge and skills to a range of self-directed weekly questions which are designed to interrogate the students understanding of concepts ranging from pathogenesis to clinical expression; and  
  4. Synthesise and combine the information learnt in this unit with that taught in CD&M5 (Rheumatology) to reflect the complex reality of osteopathic practice.  


Both summative assessments are hurdle requirements.
Assessment type Description Grade
Test 45-minute mid semester test (equivalent of 500 words) 30%
Examination 2-hour written examination (equivalent of 2000 words) 70%
Total combined word equivalence is approximately 2500 words.

Required reading

Required texts

HHY4185 PATHOLOGY 5 (RHEUMATOLOGY) lecture and tutorial manual. 2014
Kiatos J. (2014).
Osteopathy unit, College of Health and Biomedicine

Robbins and Cotran's pathological basis of disease (7th ed.).
Kumar, V., Abbas, A. K., & Fausto, N. (2014).
Elsevier Science.

Dorland's illustrated medical dictionary (31st ed.).
Newman Dorland, W. A. (2003).
W. B. Saunders Co.

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

Study a single unit

This unit may be available as a single unit of study.

Find out more about how to apply for single units of study at VU.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.