Improving Surgeon Well-Being: Ergonomics in Neurosurgery

Alexander J. Schupper, Eugene I. Hrabarchuk, Lily McCarthy, Constantinos G. Hadjipanayis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Musculoskeletal disorders are common among surgeons, and affect most neurosurgeons over the course of their career. Although all subspecialist neurosurgeons may be affected by physical strain, spine surgeons and skull base surgeons have a high propensity for workplace injury as a result of long procedures with repetitive movements in strained physical positions. Methods: In this review, the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in neurosurgery, the state of innovation to improve ergonomics in the operating room for neurosurgeons, and potential limitations in advancing technology with the goal of maximizing neurosurgeon longevity are discussed. Results: Innovations such as robotics, the exoscope, and handheld devices with more degrees of freedom have allowed surgeons to maneuver instruments without exerting excessive effort, all while maintaining neutral body positioning, avoiding joint and muscle strain. Conclusions: As new technology and innovation in the operating room develop, there has been a larger emphasis placed on maximizing surgeon comfort and neutral positioning, by minimizing force exertion and fatigue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1220-e1225
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • Ergonomics
  • Exoscope
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Robotics
  • Workplace injury


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