Australasian Dental Practice

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30 Nov 2016 | Australasian Dental Practice

news > Spectrum > Page 44

ACS Surgery News recognises working pain epidemic

By Dr B.J. Chang

Loupes Ergonomics

In the April 2016 issue of ACS Surgery News, the Official Newspaper of the American College of Surgeons, the front page featured Operating with pain: Surgeon workplace injury under-recognised.


The clinicians on the ACS Communities Online Forum reacted strongly and several of their letters were printed in the June 2016 issue.

We agree that workplace injury has been under-recognised in both surgery and dentistry. The first SurgiTel loupes with adjustable declination angle were released in the early 90s. They were a landmark success because they eliminated the pain that everyone had.

Today more people recognise that ergonomics are important, but they don't know exactly how. The cause of neck pain is often misdiagnosed as from sports injuries or a bad pillow. And slick marketers obscure the facts by labeling everything "ergonomic" without any reasoning for why; other than the word helps sell.

It is very easy to determine if someone's neck pain is caused by non-ergonomic loupes. If they look like the person on the right, if they are tilting their head more than 20 degrees forward (Valachi et al), they are bound for trouble and need a loupe upgrade.

Do your colleagues work like that? They may already be suffering from a pain they can avoid. This pain is probably infecting their daily lives and they quite likely are on their way to a forced, early retirement due to injury.

If you know anyone in any practice who looks like the person above, they are suffering quietly - and needlessly so.

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