to estimate the ergonomic postural risk for musculoskeletal posture of vascular surgeons performing open and endovascular procedure types and with various adjunctive equipment using wearable inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensors. The hypothesis is that ergonomic postural risk will increase with increased physical and mental demand, as well as procedural complexity.
A prospective, observational study was conducted at a large, quaternary academic hospital located at two sites. Sixteen vascular surgeons (thirteen male) participated in the study. Participants completed a pre- and post-surgery survey consisting of a body part discomfort scale, and a modified NASA-Task Load Index (TLX). Participants wore IMU sensors on their head and upper body to measure ergonomic postural risk during open and endovascular procedures.
Vascular surgeons have increased ergonomic postural risk scores of the neck as measured by the IMUs and increased lower back pain when performing open surgery compared to non-open surgery (p<0.05). Open procedures were rated as more physically demanding. The use of loupes resulted in increased ergonomic postural risk scores for the neck and torso (p<0.05) and were significantly associated with higher levels of lower back pain during procedures (p<0.05), as well as higher levels of physical demand (p<0.05). The use of headlights also resulted in increased subjectively-measured levels of physical demand and lower back pain. When comparing survey responses to IMU data, surveyed physical demand was strongly and significantly correlated with the neck (r=0.61, p<0.0001) and torso ergonomic postural risk scores (r=0.59, p<0.0001). The use of lead aprons did not affect ergonomic postural risk or most surveyed measures of workload, but resulted in significantly higher levels of distraction (p<0.01). The data presented highlight the potential of using wearable sensors to measure the ergonomic postural risk of surgeons during vascular surgical procedures.
vascular surgeons should be aware of ergonomic postural risk during the performance of their duties. Procedure type and surgical adjuncts can alter ergonomic postural risk significantly.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.