Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Ashish D Nimbarte

Committee Co-Chair

Majid Jaridi

Committee Member

Xiaopeng Ning

Committee Member

Jennifer Sivak-Calcott


Cervical musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are a known occupational hazard in micro surgeons who use loupes (telescopes mounted on glasses) to operate, with over 80% having neck pain related to performing surgery. Despite this known occupational risk, the cause, prevention, and treatment of cervical MSDs have been largely ignored in this population. The objective of this study was to quantify the effect of loupe use on cervical spine load and characterize the impact of loupe mount angle. In the study, loupes were systematically altered during surgical tasks simulated by twelve healthy individuals (6 male and 6 female) in a laboratory setting. Four loupe conditions; without loupes, and with the loupe mounted at 10 degrees, 20 degrees, and 30 degrees, were tested in this study. The cervical spine loading was evaluated using three-dimensional head and neck postures (rotational as well as translational), electrical activity of the neck muscles and perceived discomfort ratings. Loupe condition had no effect on the rotational head and neck postures, neck muscle activity and discomfort ratings. Head flexion of about 30 degrees was observed during the surgical tasks; bending and rotation ranged between 4 to 7 degrees. Activation of about 3 to 7% of Maximum Voluntary Contraction (MVC) was observed for the neck muscles. A significant effect of loupe condition on the translational motion in the anterior-posterior and inferior-superior directions was observed, suggesting that the use of loupe may force a more erect or straightened neck posture. Some gender differences in the posture, muscle activity pattern and perceived discomfort ratings were also observed.