A holistic evaluation of risk factors for work-related musculoskeletal distress among asymptomatic sonographers performing neurosonology: A pilot study

  • Evans K
  • Roll S
  • Li X
 et al. 
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A pilot study was conducted to gather holistic data points on female sonographers who executed neonatal neurosonography over four portable scanning sessions. The hypothesis was that specific risk factors contributed to work-related musculoskeletal distress in the hand and wrist as a result of neonatal neurosonography. A preexperimental pre-post research design was used to gather data on work demands, self-rated physical and mental health, posture/position during scanning, physiologic change, and pain scores. No statistically significant changes were detected between pre-post measures for work demands, physical and mental health, or pain scores as a result of portable scanning sessions. The physiologic changes, between scanning sessions, were recorded with the use of a hand-carried sonographic unit. Sonographic measures were less than the published criteria for carpal tunnel syndrome with a proximal cross-sectional area ≥10 mm2 and an anterior bulge of the retinaculum of >4 mm. Sonography documented a statistically significant cross-sectional area change, within the median nerve, at the distal radius only after the first scanning session. Power and spectral Doppler was used to document perineural vascular flow within the median nerve, but it was not consistently obtained to allow for a rigorous comparison between pre- and postscanning sessions. This is the first pilot study to explore using a hand-carried sonographic unit to document change in the median nerve for an isolated sonographic examination. The results are only reflective of these particular participants, but much larger N and shorter scanning sessions are needed to confirm the hypothesis proposed.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Human factors
  • Sonography

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