Plastic Surgeons and Musculoskeletal DisordersFebruary 28, 2018
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are a type of injury that affects the body’s musculoskeletal system, which includes the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, discs, and blood vessels. Work-related MSDs are among the most common workplace injuries and tend to occur because of sudden or prolonged exposure to repetitive motions, force, or awkward positions. According to a survey published in the Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, MSDs are particularly common among plastic surgeons due to long periods of time standing at an operating table that may be too low or too high.
According to the results of the survey, close to 80 percent of plastic surgeons suffer from some type of MSD. Oftentimes, if the operating table is too low, a surgeon will be forced to look down, placing their head in a forward position for an extended period. This can cause moderate to severe neck pain. If the operating table is too high, the surgeon may experience deltoid and trapezius strain caused by flexing the shoulders together during a lengthy procedure.
Highlights from the Study
Researchers analyzed survey responses from 865 plastic surgeons from the United States, Canada, and Norway to gain a better understanding of why MSDs are so prevalent among plastic surgeons, and what can be done to prevent them, or make them less severe. They found the following results:
- Close to 80 percent of plastic surgeons from the United States said that they suffered from work-related MSDs.
- The most common symptoms were pain, stiffness, fatigue, and numbness.
- The parts of the body that were most commonly affected were the neck, shoulders, and lower back.
- Female surgeons were more likely to experience MSDs than men.
- Eighty-five percent of plastic surgeons who suffered from MSDs were 45 to 54 years of age.
Tips to Avoid MSDs
While it may not be possible for a plastic surgeon to avoid standing at an operating table for a lengthy procedure, there are things they can do to avoid injury and alleviate discomfort. Recognizing and preventing ergonomic risk factors is crucial and should be an ongoing effort. For example, surgeons should be proactive about adjusting the table height so that they are not straining their neck, back, or shoulders. It is also important to stay physically fit to get through a long surgery. Proper stretching and core-strengthening are just a few effective exercises that can help prevent work-related MSDs.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Compensation for Plastic Surgeons Suffering from MSDs
If you or someone you know is a plastic surgeon who has suffered from a work-related MSD, you are urged to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. MSDs can be debilitating and lead to time away from work and a compromised quality of life. We will address any questions that you might have during the claims process. Protecting your rights is our top priority and we will continue to fight for you until you are fully satisfied. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.