A Study of the Prevalence of Musculoskeletal Disorders in Surgeons Performing Minimally Invasive Surgery

Introduction: Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has shown significant benefits for patients and healthcare systems. However, due to the poor ergonomic adaptation of operating rooms and surgical instruments, most surgeons suffer from pain caused by musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
Methods: A descriptive survey on MIS surgeons working on different surgical specialties has been carried out in Hospital Valdecilla (Spain). The aim is to determine the prevalence of MSDs by using a personal interview and the standardized Nordic questionnaire (SNQ). The study determines the prevalence of MSDs in different parts of the body and their relationship with epidemiological and labor variables. A questionnaire was filled out by 129 surgeons.
Results: 90% of surgeons reported MSDs. The higher prevalence appears in the most experienced surgeons. The most affected zones are the lower back (54%), neck (51%), upper back (44%), lower extremities (42%), right shoulder (29%) and right hand (28%).
Conclusions: The prevalence of MSDs is higher in MIS surgeons than in any other occupational group. The most vulnerable group is experienced surgeons and there is a potential risk that symptoms will be increased in the future. Muscle strength is revealed as a protective factor against MSDs.

Source: Gutierrez-Diez, M. C., Benito-Gonzalez, M. A., Sancibrian, R., Gandarillas-Gonzalez, M. A., Redondo-Figuero, C., & Manuel-Palazuelos, J. C. (2017). International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 1-19.

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