To stratify ergonomic risk in a urologic microsurgeon using the 4K-3D exoscope versus the operating microscope (OM) with wearable technology.
The surgeon was calibrated with wearable sensor inertial measurement units (IMUs) on the head and upper arms. Each inertial measurement units contained an accelerometer, magnetometer, and gyroscope to measure surgeon joint angle change during microscopic procedures for male fertility. The validated modified rapid upper limb assessment was used to determine the proportion of time spent in ranges of risk. Categories 1-4 were assigned for the head and upper extremities (4= highest ergonomic risk). Chi-squared analysis was used to analyze differences in proportions.
A total of 500 and 479 minutes from 4K-3D exoscope and OM guided surgeries were analyzed. The 4K-3D exoscope significantly favored upper arm category 1 positioning compared to the OM (56.2% vs 37.7%; P < .0001). The OM exposed the surgeon to higher category 3 positioning (14.6% vs 1.6%; P <.0001). More time was spent with the neck “extended” using the 4K-3D exoscope (51.8% vs 19.5%; P < .0001) with 67% of neck extension between 0-10° (category 1). Overall, more time was spent with the neck in risk group 1-2 with the OM (P < .0001).
The 4K-3D exoscope offers favorable ergonomic positioning for the upper extremities which may reduce work stress-related injury. More operative time was spent with the neck in mild extension with 4K-3D exoscope utilization. However, the OM favored longer operative times in low-risk neck ergonomic positions.
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Published online: November 30, 2022
Accepted: November 13, 2022
Received: September 12, 2022
Financial Disclosure: The authors declare that they have no relevant financial interests.
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