Is Repetitive Workload a Risk Factor for Upper Extremity Musculoskeletal Disorders in Surgical Device Mechanics? A Cross-Sectional Analysis

Oliver Lotter, Tobias Lieb, Viktor Breul, Jochen Molsner
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2020 February 21, 17 (4)
To assess the prevalence of upper extremity work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) among surgical device mechanics compared to a control group, a total of 70 employees were included and assigned to three occupational groups (grinders, packers, and control). Personal factors, work exposure, manual skill, and complaints were assessed by two self-administered questionnaires and an industry test. WMSDs were diagnosed in a standardised clinical examination. The two-one-sided t -tests (TOST) procedure was used to test the clinical equivalence of the respective grinding and packaging groups vs. the control group in terms of the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) score. Thirty-nine study participants (56%) experienced at least one WMSD at the elbow, forearm, and/or wrist, mainly with signs of epicondylitis and nerve entrapment at the medial elbow. The risk of grinders developing upper extremity WMSD was about 2.5-times higher and packers had an 8.6-fold higher risk of a clinically relevant DASH > 29 compared to the control group. However, these differences were not statistically significant. The groups were also proven to be clinically equivalent in terms of DASH score. Surgical device mechanics do not seem to have worse DASH values or be at higher risk of upper limb WMSDs compared to a control group. This is the first study to analyse and compare different workplaces in this industry that are also common in other industries.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"