What ergonomic challenges in postural-related strain and musculoskeletal discomfort exist among otolaryngology surgeons, and what ergonomics training and equipment are available to them?
Pain and disability induced by poor ergonomics are widespread among the otolaryngology community, and surgeons rarely receive ergonomic training in the surgical context. The majority of observed surgeons displayed poor posture, particularly a poor cervical angle and use of ergonomic setups, both of which increase ergonomic risk hazard.
Explore this issue:February 2019
Background: On average, surgeons spend approximately 2,500 hours working per year, with up to a third of those hours spent in the OR. This activity level can take a toll on the surgeons’ musculoskeletal (MSK) system, particularly as a result of prolonged poorly compensated postural load and absences of good ergonomic practice in the OR. Globally, between 47% to 74% of responding otolaryngology surgeons report some degree of pain or discomfort directly attributed to poor ergonomic positioning during work.
Study design: Intraoperative observations and survey study of 70 otolaryngology surgeons, including attending staff, fellows, and residents.