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Risk Factors for Hand Pain in Video Game Players

Shoichiro A Tanaka, MD, MPH Monica B Pecache, MD Julianne Sutton, MPH Elkin L Galvis, MD
Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and Microsurgery University of Louisville Louisville, KY

Presenter: Shoichiro A. Tanaka, MD, MPH

I certify that the material proposed for presentation in this abstract has not been published in any scientific journal or previously presented at a major meeting. All of the work on this project represents the original work of the fellows.

Director Name: Michelle Palazzo, MD

Author Category: Other Specialty Resident
Presentation Category: Clinical
Abstract Category: Hand

Tendinopathies and compression neuropathies are commonly treated by hand surgeons. Most patients present in middle age with a common symptom of pain. Repetitive motion and hand positioning can cause these conditions, and they are also performed during video game playing. We sought to determine risk factors for pain experienced by video game players.

An IRB-approved survey was distributed to video-game players. This was sent online and to local high schools. Parental consent was obtained for players younger than 18 years old. Variables reviewed include age, sex, weekly hours played, device played (console [C], mobile device [MD], keyboard & mouse[K/M]), and presence of pain.

One hundred seventy-four players responded, and 64 (36.78%) experienced pain related to video game play. Ages 13-17 and 18-25 were more likely to experience pain compared to ages 31+, OR 0.102 p-value=0.001 and OR 0.195 p-value=0.038, respectively. Females experience more pain, OR 3.68, p-value=0.029. Players using K/M experienced more pain than C, OR 5.25, CI 2.08 13.27, p-value=0.0006. When stratified by number of hours played, K/M experienced more pain when playing >40 hours a week, OR 14.0, p-value=0.049. Players using MD experienced more pain than C, OR 2.92, CI 1.21 7.03, p-value=0.026. There was no difference of pain experienced between K/M vs MD, p-value=0.50.

Video game players may experience pain when playing for prolonged periods of time. This may indicate earlier onset of tendinopathies or compression neuropathies. If playing with a K/M, there is a higher incidence of pain and possibly pathology.

Author Contact Information:
Shoichiro Tanaka
1348 S. 3rd St
Apt 1
Louisville, KY, KY

4696821701 (cell)

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