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1.  The WISTAH hand study: A prospective cohort study of distal upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders 
Background
Few prospective cohort studies of distal upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders have been performed. Past studies have provided somewhat conflicting evidence for occupational risk factors and have largely reported data without adjustments for many personal and psychosocial factors.
Methods/design
A multi-center prospective cohort study was incepted to quantify risk factors for distal upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders and potentially develop improved methods for analyzing jobs. Disorders to analyze included carpal tunnel syndrome, lateral epicondylalgia, medial epicondylalgia, trigger digit, deQuervain’s stenosing tenosynovitis and other tendinoses. Workers have thus far been enrolled from 17 different employment settings in 3 diverse US states and performed widely varying work. At baseline, workers undergo laptop administered questionnaires, structured interviews, two standardized physical examinations and nerve conduction studies to ascertain demographic, medical history, psychosocial factors and current musculoskeletal disorders. All workers’ jobs are individually measured for physical factors and are videotaped. Workers are followed monthly for the development of musculoskeletal disorders. Repeat nerve conduction studies are performed for those with symptoms of tingling and numbness in the prior six months. Changes in jobs necessitate re-measure and re-videotaping of job physical factors. Case definitions have been established. Point prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome is a combination of paraesthesias in at least two median nerve-served digits plus an abnormal nerve conduction study at baseline. The lifetime cumulative incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome will also include those with a past history of carpal tunnel syndrome. Incident cases will exclude those with either a past history or prevalent cases at baseline. Statistical methods planned include survival analyses and logistic regression.
Discussion
A prospective cohort study of distal upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders is underway and has successfully enrolled over 1,000 workers to date.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-90
PMCID: PMC3476983  PMID: 22672216
Epidemiology; Ergonomics; Cohort; Carpal tunnel syndrome; Strain index; TLV for HAL
2.  Biomechanics of the Double Rocker Sole Shoe: Gait Kinematics and Kinetics 
The use of footwear with contoured soles is common in treatment and care of patients with diabetes; these rocker sole shoes are designed to alleviate loading in key areas on the plantar surface of the foot, reducing pressure in key areas and alleviating pain and potential soft tissue damage. While investigations of pressure changes have been conducted, no quantitative study to date has addressed the three-dimensional kinematic and kinetic changes that result from using these shoes. Forty (40) subjects were tested wearing both unmodified and double rocker sole shoes, and the resulting motion patterns were compared to assess change caused by the rocker sole. Overall walking speed remained unchanged throughout testing; slightly increased flexion (<5°) was apparent at the hip, knee, and ankle during early and midstance. These results demonstrate the maintenance of gait function with minimal kinematic changes when using the rocker sole shoe. Investigations of multisegmental foot motion may reveal additional information about the contour effects; analysis of contour variations may also be warranted to investigate the possibility of controlling motion based on rocker sole parameters.
doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2007.03.009
PMCID: PMC2211387  PMID: 17271467
Gait; Rocker sole shoe; Diabetes; Corrective footwear; Double rocker; Pedorthics

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