Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Musicians' Hands: A Surgeon's Perspective

Ian Winspur Christopher B. Wynn Parry
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 15 Number 1: Page 31 (March 2000)

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Abstract: Review of 825 musicians presenting with upper limb symptoms to a specialized musicians' clinic in London shows that only 45% had a recognized structural disorder, of whom only 4% were possible candidates for surgery. Surgical experience on musicians is therefore limited and fragmented, and many misconceptions exist. The most common reason for surgery in this group is coincidental trauma (25%), followed by other common inflammatory and degenerative conditions seen in the general population. The indications for surgery and the techniques used need to be modified. Review of 49 consecutive professional musicians treated surgically along the guidelines discussed show that 98% returned to full-time professional playing, confirming the essential if limited role surgery plays in the care of musicians' hands.

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