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Papers of the Week

2021 Jul 28

Clin Spine Surg

Ergonomics in Spine Surgery.


Kolz JM, Wagner SC, Vaccaro AR, Sebastian AS
Clin Spine Surg. 2021 Jul 28.
PMID: 34321393.


As physician burnout and wellness become increasingly recognized as vital themes for the medical community to address, the topic of chronic work-related conditions in surgeons must be further evaluated. While improving ergonomics and occupational health have been long emphasized in the executive and business worlds, particularly in relation to company morale and productivity, information within the surgical community remains relatively scarce. Chronic peripheral nerve compression syndromes, hand osteoarthritis, cervicalgia and back pain, as well as other repetitive musculoskeletal ailments affect many spinal surgeons. The use of ergonomic training programs, an operating microscope or exoscope, powered instruments for pedicle screw placement, pneumatic Kerrison punches and ultrasonic osteotomes, as well as utilizing multiple surgeons or microbreaks for larger cases comprise several methods by which spinal surgeons can potentially improve workspace health. As such, it is worthwhile exploring these areas to potentially improve operating room ergonomics and overall surgeon longevity.