Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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A Rheumatologist Let Loose in a Performing Arts Clinic: The Spectrum of Musicians' Complaints and Their Treatment

J.D. Macfarlane, A.B.M. Rietveld
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 24 Number 4: Page 185 (December 2009)

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Abstract: This article reports on the experiences of a rheumatologist, newly added to the staff of a Dutch performing arts medicine clinic, in his first year of part-time work. In the year May 2007 to May 2008, 253 consecutive new patient-musicians seen by the author. Patients were predominantly male (135 vs 118) with a mean age of 39 years (range 12 to 78). Amateurs accounted for 35% of the referrals. Keyboard players, guitarists, and violinists predominated. The main complaints involved the upper extremity, with the hand being the most common, followed by the shoulder and wrist. Among specific complaints, 15% of patients presented with primarily neurologic complaints, 12% with trauma, 8% osteoarthritis, 7.5% rotator cuff syndromes, 7% wrist ganglion, 7% tendon problems, and 4% focal dystonia. Treatment approaches are summarized.

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