University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Musculoskeletal Sonography and Occupational Performance Laboratory

Active Research

Work-Related Injuries in Sonographers

The prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal injuries among diagnostic medical sonographers has been reported as high as 90%. 74% of these professionals experienced shoulder pain, 66% reported neck pain, and 44% indicated having upper back pain while providing sonographic services. Working in sustained poor postures with the arm away from the body, holding and applying pressure through the transducer, and performing an increasing number of scans per day, have all been associated with these symptoms.

Unfortunately, ergonomics training in sonography education is limited and inconsistent, there are no sonography-specific ergonomic evaluations that assess both personal and organizational factors contributing to work-related musculoskeletal injuries, and there have been no large-scale efforts to evaluate the effects of preventive interventions in this profession.

To address these dire needs, the MSOP lab has partnered with the Laboratory of Investigatory Imaging at The Ohio State University.  In addition to exploring risk factors and continuing to document the problem, the long-term goal of our work is to develop and validate real-world solutions for enhancing ergonomics training and improve translation into the workplace to reduce the incidence and prevalence of WRMSI in sonographers.

Publications

Dhyani, M., Roll, S. C., Gilbertson, M. W., Orlowski, M., Anvari, A., Li, Q., Anthony, B., & Samir, A. E. (2017). Direct and precise quantification of forces applied by sonographers during abdominal imaging. Work, 52(2), 241-247. https://doi.org/10.3233/WOR-172611 Show abstract

Roll, S. C., Selhorst, L., & Evans, K. D. (2014). Contribution of positioning to work-related musculoskeletal discomfort in diagnostic medical sonographers. Work, 47(2), 253-260. https://doi.org/10.3233/WOR-121579 Show abstract

Roll, S. C., Evans, K. D., Hutmire, C. D., & Baker, J. P. (2012). An analysis of occupational factors related to shoulder discomfort in diagnostic medical sonographers and vascular technologists. Work, 42(3), 355-365. https://doi.org/10.3233/WOR-2012-1434 Show abstract

Evans, K. D., Roll, S. C., Hutmire, C. D., & Baker, J. P. (2010). Factors that contribute to wrist-hand-finger discomfort in diagnostic medical sonographers and vascular technologists. Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, 26(3), 121-129. https://doi.org/10.1177/8756479310366471 Show abstract

Evans, K. D., Roll, S. C., Li, X., & Sammet, S. (2010). A holistic evaluation of risk factors for work related musculoskeletal distress among asymptomatic sonographers performing neurosonology: A pilot study. Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, 26(2), 64-78. https://doi.org/10.1177/8756479309352360 Show abstract

Evans, K. D., Roll, S. C., & Baker, J. (2009). Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMDS) among registered diagnostic medical sonographers and vascular technologists: A representative sample. Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, 25(6), 287-299. https://doi.org/10.1177/8756479309351748 Show abstract

Presentations

Roll, S. C., Cristino, A., & Mitchell, J. (2018, October). Characterizing changes in the median nerve during hand grip using dynamic sonographic imaging. Poster presented at Association of Reproductive Health Professionals Conference 2018, New Orleans, LA.

Roll, S. C., Selhorst, L., & Evans, K. D. (2013). Using the Rapid Upper Limb Assessment to associate upper extremity positioning with musculoskeletal discomfort. Research paper presentation at 93rd Annual Conference of the American Occupational Therapy Association, San Diego, CA.