Associate Editor Dr. John Saltzman highlights this article “Prevalence and risk factors for musculoskeletal injuries related to endoscopy” by Ridtitid et al as February’s Editor’s Choice.
This article documents among endoscopists the high rate of work-related injuries. In a survey of 684 endoscopists who belong to the ASGE, the authors’ found that 362 (53%) experienced a muskulopskelatal injury definitely or possibly related to endoscopy. The authors further characterize the types of injuries that occur as well as some of the factors associated with higher rates of injury. It is extremely important to raise awareness of the issue of work related injuries of endoscopists.
Figure 1. Subject cohort: musculoskeletal injury among endoscopists. *Subjects who did not respond to question 17 of our survey were assumed to be non-injured physicians.
As an high-volume endoscopist, I have personally experienced some of the injuries described in this article. This article is very important for several reasons. First, physicians who experiences muskuloskeletal pain may not associate these symptoms with endoscopy-related work activities. They may feel that they are just getting old or developing arthritis. It is important for them to realize the source of their symptoms so appropriate action may be taken. Second, there are modifications that can be made to reduce these injuries. For instance, neck and upper back pain was present in 29% of endoscopists. This could be related to monitor screens that are positioned too high such that the physician must extend their neck during endoscopy. Simply lowering the video screen may resolve this problem. Finally, endoscopists should be aware of the mechanics of their bodies and the endoscope. There are techniques that can be adopted that reduce body stress and decrease these injuries if properly recognized.
This article details the prevalence and types of work-related injuries that endoscopists experience. Furthermore, it goes over risk factors and potential solutions to these problems. It is imperative that endoscopists recognize this problem and are aware of the ergonomic adaptations to the workplace environment that will decrease these injuries.
Read the article’s abstract online.
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