Session Time: None. Available on demand.
Disclosures: Kotomi Obayashi, DO: No financial relationships or conflicts of interest
Background and/or Objectives: To compare the prevalence of neck and arm pain in surgeons and non-surgeons
Setting: Tertiary academic center
Participants: 54 surgeons and 118 non-surgeons of varying specialties
Interventions: A questionnaire was sent electronically to all physicians within a hospital system. Collected data included demographic information and a series of triage questions associated with neck pain or upper-extremity symptoms.
Main Outcome Measures: Surgeon versus non-surgeon demographics, procedural/surgical environments, incidence of neck/arm pain, imaging and treatment received, formal ergonomic training received, and rate of environmental/postural modification made secondary to symptoms.
Results: 20.6% of surgeons and 18.5% of non-surgeons within the hospital system responded to the survey. 59.3% (n= 32) of surgeons and 48.3% (n= 57) of non-surgeons reported one or more of the following: arm or hand paresthesia, pain necessitating treatment, or acute-onset upper extremity weakness or pain while operating or performing procedures. Residents and fellows in surgical specialties were more likely to report symptoms than non-surgical residents and fellows (p= 0.044, p < 0.05). Surgeons who reported being several inches shorter to their co-surgeons were more likely to report symptoms (p= 0.05) while there were no associations with shorter height and symptoms in non-surgeons (p= 0.638). Only 7.8% of surgeons and 6.8% of non-surgeons received formal ergonomic training.
Conclusions: Previous studies have examined ergonomics in the surgical environment and resulting pain syndromes in surgeons. However, there have been few studies in non-surgeons or comparison studies among surgeons and non-surgeons. This study suggests a high prevalence of upper extremity pain among surgeons and non-surgeon survey respondents. Surgeons and non-surgeons reported low rates of ergonomic training which demonstrates the need for further education to prevent or improve pain, prolong career longevity, and increase work satisfaction.
Level of Evidence: Level IV
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Obayashi K, Gill B, Luebbert SH, Varghese E. Prevalence of Neck and Arm Pain at a Tertiary Academic Center: Comparison Between Surgical and Non-surgical Physicians [abstract]. PM R. 2022; 14(S1)(suppl 1). https://pmrjabstracts.org/abstract/prevalence-of-neck-and-arm-pain-at-a-tertiary-academic-center-comparison-between-surgical-and-non-surgical-physicians/. Accessed December 3, 2023.
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