Improperly designed medical devices can induce unwanted biomechanical stressors on their users, impacting health and career longevity. Despite this, manufacturers struggle to balance device design with the growing female surgeon population. We have applied anthropometry to a population of surgeon hands as an alternative to preferred glove size. Correlations to physical dimensions of two laparoscopic staplers were assessed. Five anthropometric measurements were taken from dominant hands of surgeons. These measurements were selected with the goal of comparing resulting data to published anthropometry studies and assessing correlation to preferred glove size and instrument design. The trigger reach of the two laparoscopic staplers were measured to assess suitability among the surgeon population surveyed. Fifty eight surgeons (50 male, 8 female), average glove size 7.5 and 6.0, were measured. Data indicate that male surgeons had significantly larger hands than female. Hand circumference displayed a relatively strong positive correlation with preferred glove size (0.799, R2 = 63.9%); other measurements did not. The trigger span of one stapler was found suitable for only 78.2% of male and 30.9% of female surgeons, based on comparisons with anthropometry of the surveyed population. Anthropometry should be used to characterize surgeon hands instead of preferred glove size. Also, from the limited scope of this research, discrepancies exist between the size of the surgeon hand and the devices designed for their use. The use of inappropriately designed instrumentation can cause musculoskeletal injury, decreased productivity, and shortened careers. Manufacturers would benefit by consulting anthropometry databases to develop products.
Assessing the Importance of Surgeon Hand Anthropometry on the Design of Medical Devices
Manuscript received October 15, 2016; final manuscript received May 26, 2017; published online August 17, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Rita M. Patterson.
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Stellon, M., Seils, D., and Mauro, C. (August 17, 2017). "Assessing the Importance of Surgeon Hand Anthropometry on the Design of Medical Devices." ASME. J. Med. Devices. December 2017; 11(4): 041004. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4037257
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