Mitigating musculoskeletal damage is seldom taught in surgical training programs

Residency Program Insider, February 23, 2018

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Only 25% of surgical training programs in America have incorporated at least some degree of surgical-ergonomics education (SEE), while 1.5% offer SEE as a formal course, according to a study published in the Annals of Surgery
An earlier review conducted by Dhruv Singhal, MD, of Harvard Medical School and his team found that 87% of surgeons experience musculoskeletal pain while operating and 43% are eventually forced to modify how they practice due to the development of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), while another 9% are forced to retire.
The authors of the new study write of the “opportunity [that] exists to develop a SEE module as a step toward emulating that success of industrial ergonomics at reducing the burden of work-related MSDs.” They maintain that, given society’s investment in surgeons, more should be done protect against SEE. Singhal recommends that that formal training should be implemented right out of the gate.
One simple method that has proved beneficial involves targeted stretching micro breaks (TSMBs), which are a series of exercises that take 45 seconds and can be done without the need to re-sterilize. According to a crossover study, surgeons reduced their amount of musculoskeletal pain when they took TSMBs every 40 minutes during surgery. The TSMBs didn’t increase operative time. 
Source: Medscape

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