[Histonet] Ergonomic woes with microtomy

barbara albert barb94117 <@t> msn.com
Wed Oct 25 15:30:27 CDT 2006

One small note--I purchased a small pamphlet written by a PT a few years ago 
called "Hand Exercises for Knitters" which I find useful even though I knit 
only rarely any more.  My ex-husband who has weakness on one side as the 
result of a stroke also likes the exercises.  If anyone is interested, I'll 
bring the book from home and post whatever publishing information is 

Barbara Albert
UCSF Medical Center
San Francisco

>From: Gayle Callis <gcallis <@t> montana.edu>
>To: Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
>Subject: [Histonet] Ergonomic woes with microtomy
>Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2006 12:28:17 -0600
>We built up the handle of fly wheel and coarse advance wheel with taped on 
>bubble wrap.    A tennis ball is fairly large, but some people use bicycle 
>handle grips (spongy, thick) which slip over microtome handles easily.  We 
>tried racquet balls also, but didn't like the feel although some use them 
>Also, do NOT rock the fly wheel when trimming, this causes the wrist to 
>bend up and down (watch yourself do this!) and is a unwanted but easily 
>avoidable repetitive motion.  Don't say you can't learn to do this, it 
>takes only a few times to relearn a new motion. Jan Minshew from Leica 
>would agree, she is an ergonomic expert at Leica and teaches this.  Also, 
>grasp the handles so you never bend you wrist, hold the handles with palms 
>facing the ends rather than grasping the handle like a bicycler.  This 
>keeps the wrists rigid and straight for both trimming and sectioning.
>No resting arms on counter or get arm rests, use a decent chair, feet 
>squarely on floor or use a foot rest, and all tools within easy reach.  
>Replacement of waterbath so it is on an L shaped counter next to you rather 
>than next to microtome prevents some unneeded twisting and stretching.  
>Learn to exercise and stretch you hands, fingers, wrists to relieve 
>This wonderful ergonomic forceps from Surgipath and others (have holes in 
>handles) are very easy to use if you find you don't like the forceps that 
>have opposition open/close mechanism.
>Automated microtomes are wonderful if you can buy one and certainly on our 
>wish list.
>Good luck
>Gayle Callis
>Research Histopathology Supervisor
>Veterinary Molecular Biology
>Montana State University - Bozeman
>PO Box 173610
>Bozeman MT 59717-3610
>406 994-6367
>406 994-4303 (FAX)
>Histonet mailing list
>Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu

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