Background: Endoscopy-associated musculoskeletal injury has not been well studied. Our aim was to identify the frequency and significance of musculoskeletal injury among gastroenterologists compared with a similar group of nonprocedure-oriented internal medicine specialists and subspecialists. Methods: An electronic survey was developed and administered to all gastroenterologists and hepatologists [gastroenterologists (GI) group] and a sampling of nonprocedure-oriented internal medicine specialists and subspecialists (non-GI group) employed by Mayo Clinic. The questionnaire assessed several areas including current or past pain injury associated with performing endoscopy, location and description of pain or injury, impact of pain or injury, and prevention strategies. A modified survey was sent to the control group. Results: The response rate was 63% in the GI group and 45% in the non-GI group. The 2 groups were of similar age and level of physical activity. The frequency of musculoskeletal injury was higher in the GI group (74% vs. 35%; P<0.001). The most common sites of injury among the GI group were the thumb (19%), low back (19%), hand (17%), and neck (10%). There was no significant association between volume of endoscopy or years performing endoscopy and injury. Most of the GI group made modifications in their endoscopic practice to reduce injury risk. Conclusions: Musculoskeletal injury occurs more commonly among gastroenterologists than nonprocedure-oriented internal medicine specialists. Most reported minor injuries, but members of the GI group tended to have more severe repercussions relating to ability to work. More attention to injury prevention is needed among gastroenterologists.
- Musculoskeletal injury
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