Work Disabling Nerve Injury at Both Elbows Due to Laptop Use at Flexible Workplaces inside an Office: Case-Report of a Bilateral Ulnar Neuropathy

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BACKGROUND: This case report describes whether a female civil servant who developed bilateral ulnar neuropathy can be classified as having an occupational disease.

METHODS: The Dutch six-step protocol for the assessment and prevention of occupational diseases is used.

RESULTS: Based on the six-step protocol, we propose that pressure on the ulnar nerve in the elbow region precipitated the neuropathy for this employee while working prolonged periods in elbow flexion with a laptop.

CONCLUSION: Despite the low incidence laptop use might be a risk factor for the occurrence of ulnar neuropathy due to prolonged pressure on the elbow. Employers and workers need to be educated about this disabling occupational injury due to laptop use and about protective work practices such as support for the upper arm and elbow. This seems especially relevant given the trend of more flexible workspaces inside and outside offices, and given the seemingly safe appearance of laptop use.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9529
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2020


  • Elbow
  • Ergonomics
  • Laptop
  • Nerve injury
  • Neuropathy
  • Occupational disease
  • Prevention
  • Risk factors
  • Workstation

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