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Upper Limb Tendinitis and entrapment neuropathy in coal miners


  • Disclosure Statement: The authors report no conflicts of interests.

Correspondence to: Dr. Şenay Özdolap, MD, Bülent Ecevit Üniversitesi, Tıp Fakültesi, FTR AD, Kozlu/Zonguldak 67600, Turkey. E-mail:



It is well-known that work-related upper limb musculoskeletal disorders, particularly tendinitis and nerve entrapment, remain a difficult and costly problem in industrialized countries. The aim of this study was to evaluate tendinitis and entrapment neuropathy of the upper limb of Turkish coal miners.


Eighty coal miners and 43 age-matched clerical workers were included in the study. The evaluation procedures included collection of personal and clinical data, physical examination and bilateral electrodiagnostic testing. Subjects were examined to diagnose tendinitis and nerve entrapment of the upper limb. Bilateral median and ulnar nerves conduction tests were performed on all subjects. Data were collected between August 2011 and December 2011.


There were 33 subjects with lateral epicondylitis, 10 with medial epicondylitis, and 22 with De Quervain's disease among the coal miners. There were seven subjects with lateral epicondylitis, eight with medial epicondylitis, and four with De Quervain's disease in the control group. The two groups significantly differed in the prevalences of lateral epicondylitis and De Quervain's disease (P = 0.024 and P = 0.029, respectively). Sixteen subjects in the coal miners and 12 subjects in the controls had carpal tunnel syndrome (P = 0.66). Thirty-seven subjects in the coal miners had ulnar neuropathy of the elbow (UNE), while four subjects in the controls had UNE; this difference was statistically significant (P < 0.001).


Lateral epicondylitis, De Quervain disease, and ulnar neuropathy are common work-related upper limb disorders among coal miners. Am. J. Ind. Med. 56:569–575, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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