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Article

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

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Department of Plastic, Aesthetic, Hand and Reconstructive Surgery, Academic District Hospital, Zeppelinstrasse 21, 78532 Tuttlingen, Germany
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Office for Occupational and Hand Therapy, Neuhauser Strasse 85, 78532 Tuttlingen, Germany
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Department of Medical Scientific Affairs, Aesculap AG, Am Aesculap Platz, 78532 Tuttlingen, Germany
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IAS-Group for Occupational Health Management, Koenigstrasse 6, 78532 Tuttlingen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1383; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041383
Received: 14 January 2020 / Revised: 6 February 2020 / Accepted: 20 February 2020 / Published: 21 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Return to Work and Occupational Health Services)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs); upper extremity; repetitive work; surgical device mechanics; DASH score; Purdue Pegboard Test work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs); upper extremity; repetitive work; surgical device mechanics; DASH score; Purdue Pegboard Test
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lotter, O.; Lieb, T.; Breul, V.; Molsner, J. Is Repetitive Workload a Risk Factor for Upper Extremity Musculoskeletal Disorders in Surgical Device Mechanics? A Cross-Sectional Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1383. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041383

AMA Style

Lotter O, Lieb T, Breul V, Molsner J. Is Repetitive Workload a Risk Factor for Upper Extremity Musculoskeletal Disorders in Surgical Device Mechanics? A Cross-Sectional Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(4):1383. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041383

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lotter, Oliver, Tobias Lieb, Viktor Breul, and Jochen Molsner. 2020. "Is Repetitive Workload a Risk Factor for Upper Extremity Musculoskeletal Disorders in Surgical Device Mechanics? A Cross-Sectional Analysis" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 4: 1383. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041383

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