Return to work following limb injuries

Return to work following limb injuries

110 Clinical Biomechanics 1986; 1: 110-118 Printed in Great Britain Abstracts ERGONOMICS Return to work following limb injuries Motivation for w...

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Clinical Biomechanics


1: 110-118

Printed in Great


Abstracts ERGONOMICS Return to work following limb injuries Motivation for work, level of physical disability, period of incapacity, completion of an employment rehabilitation course and unemployment in the general population are the major determinants of an early return to stable employment in the disabled. In a study of 350 men and 29 women with limb injuries who were discharged from three rehabilitation centres. those with only soft tissue injuries were less disabled. incapacitated for shorter periods and completed employment rehabilitation courses compared with those with fractures, dislocations or amputations. There was. however. no association between the type of injury and motivation for work. Return to work after rehabilitation was unrelated to the type or site of injury. In this group of patients, motivation for work appeared to have a greater influence on the outcome of rehabilitation than other known predictors. Sheikh

K. J Sot Occup


1985; 35: 114-7

Underfoot accidents The events leading to injury and the contributory factors associated with each event were investigated in a series of 100 patients treated in an A&E department. using a neu programmable accident model for the analysis and storage of data. The focal point of the interview with each casualty was identification of the first unforeseen event in the sequence leading to injury, together with the activities and movements at the time of the first event and any object5 associated with it. In 37 cases out of 100. the first unforeseen event took place between the feet and their point of support. For esamplc. the foot slipped unexpectedly. a step was missed or ;I ladder fell. As a result of these underfoot accidents. sprain\ of the joints of the lower limb were frequent injuries but second injuries occurred more commonly than after other type4 of first unforseen events. Underfoot accidents occurred in IO out of the 38 injuries at work and in 27 of the 62 which took place at home. at leisure, while shopping etc. Baxter CE, Ergonomics

Foreman TK, Troup 1985; 28: 959-63




Whole-body vibration: exposure time and acute effects-experimental assessment of discomfort The method of cross-modality matching was used to study the development of discomfort during a 1 hour exposure to whole-body vibration. The subject’s task was to adjust a broadband noise to the level where it gave rise to the same degree of discomfort as a vibration. Random vertical vibrations were used with a resonance of either 3.1 or 6.3 Hz. The sound settings were transformed into vibration levels by means of sound vibration functions determined for each subject. The sound-level settings increased as a function of exposure time and control measurements showed that this could not have been the effect of a lowered sensitivity to the noise. The increase, expressed as log acceleration. was a

linear function of log exposure time. It is therefore concluded that results from studies of shorter exposure times might be extrapolated to exposure periods of at least I hour. Although the method employed probably led to an underestimation of the increase in discomfort over time, the experiment does imply that the increase is over-estimated by IS0 standard 2631. Kjellberg A, Wikstriim 1985; 28: 545-54



U. Ergonomics

Traumatogenic factors affecting the knees of carpet installers An ergonomics analysis of carpet installation tasks was performed. The purpose was to identify and quantify potential sources of biomechanical trauma that may be responsible for the high rates of knee morbidity found by previous researchers among carpet layers. Nine carpet layers were studied either at an apartment building worksite or at ;I training school. Results from a job analysis indicated that workers spent approximately 75% of their time in the kneeling position using a tool called a knee-kicker to stretch and install carpet. Awkward body postures were identified from films of workers installing carpets. At the moment of impact the knee is severely flexed. subtended angles were less than 60 degrees. To obtain measures of impact force on the knee. the kicker-tool was instrumented with :I load cell. Workers who executed the hardest kicks with the tool produced impact peak forces that averaged 3019 newtons (N). which is equivalent to about four times body weight. Measures from an accelerometer attached to the worker’s knee showed values in excess of 12Omls’. which are comparable to those found during vigorous running and jumping exercises. The results imply that repetitive impact of the knee ioint from the use of the knee-kicker combined with knee flex&. kneeling and squatting may be responsible for the high level of occupational knee-morbidity found among carpet layers. Bhattacharya A. Mueller M. Putz-Anderson Ergonom I YX5; 16: 243-50

V. Appl

Myoelectric paraspinal response to spinal loads: potential for monitoring low back pain LBP evaluation has been hampered by the subjectivity of available clinical procedures and the paucity of factual information about spinal dysfunction. Objective indices of spinal pathomechanics would assist the clinician to prescribe and evaluate appropriate treatment. This project assesses paraspinal myoelectric symmetry as a potential objective measure of low back performance. A preliminary group (N=3Y) of symptomatic subjects was prospectively tested to choose parameters for the blinded experiment to follow. The experimental group of volunteers (N=37) were electromyographically monitored while the subjects performed selected postural tasks which did not produce pain. Results were compared to orthopedic tests and history. Four arbitrary myoelectric classifications were defined for