Question: Has anyone any info on this growing WRULD? Sonographers are health care a professional who are increasingly at risk of neck/shoulder and arm RSI’s little is published in this country though the US is beginning to address the problem..

Answer 1:Sonography Issues
The everyday practice of sonography can consist of the RSI risk factors of  high repetition, high levels of force, awkward joint position, direct  pressure, and prolonged twisted posture, such as:

Gripping the transducer
Applying sustained pressure
Awkward scanning positions
Scanning with a flexed wrist
Scanning with a hyper extended wrist
Maintaining a twisted posture
Shoulder abduction
Sustained twisting of the neck/trunk
Repetitive twisting of the neck/trunk
Strenuously lifting patients
Frequent leaning over the patient
Frequent over-stretching of the arms between the patient and the control panel
Moving ultrasound equipment too heavy the sonographer
Constantly feeling rushed during a regular workday.



  1. I feel partly responsible because I made the first, manually-operated ultrasound scanner 58 years ago in Glasgow for Ian Donald and John Mac Vicar, and it was a brute to use. Recognising that, I designed a “hands-free” robotic mechanical scanner which went into service in 1959 and was used by Donald and MacVicar for the next six years, successfully scanning more than two thousand patients in that time, (with nil RSI !). The BIG MISTAKE, about 1965, was to revert to hand scanning, with the old Diasonograph, and copycat static B-scanners. When hand-held “real time” machines came along in the ‘seventies, everyone thought that was marvellous, but didn’t realise the RSI/WRMSD it was going to lead to. IT IS NOT TOO LATE to go back to some form of mechanical assistance to the sonographer, even to the extent of designing a new generation of machines, in some ways similar to CT or MRI ones, where you “put the patient into the machine” and let it do the work. If I could only get rid of forty years (I’m now 81) I’d love to do it, because it is well within the capabilities of the “informatics” technology that I know is now available. It just needs some radical thinking and thinkers, some open-minded users, and a bit of money, to make it happen. Tom

    • Thanks you so much for being such a pioneer in this wonderful field. I have been a sonographer for 20 years, and I am so passionate about my carrier, and love discovering all the ways we can use this amazing technology to change people’s lives. Unfortunately, I am now dealing with an RSI of my hand and wrist and also have shoulder issues and was actually just thinking, gosh, wouldn’t it be great if we could have some sort of set up like the old b-scanners where we could just guide a mounted transducer somehow that you could mechanically control the pressure and odd angles. Now how do you go about making “what ifs” into a reality.

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