Management of common conditions of the musician: a narrative review for plastic surgeons


  • Daniel Y. Chu Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, USA
  • Sahand C. Eftekari Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, USA
  • Peter J. Nicksic Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, USA
  • Samuel O. Poore Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, USA



musicians, instrumentalists, musician injuries, stress velopharyngeal insufficiency, overuse syndrome


Career-related injuries and disorders in professional musicians are prevalent across all their respective instruments and fields. They often endure long hours of intensive practice that demand high levels of precision, dexterity, and flexibility of their head, neck, hands, and upper extremities. Unlike the average patient, musicians are sensitive to even mild symptoms and deficits that can interfere with performance, which can potentially be career-threatening. Increasing attention to the care of musicians motivated performing arts medicine to tailor the practice to their individual and unique needs. Plastic surgeons are at the forefront of this practice; however, there are very limited reviews discussing plastic surgery management of the common injuries and disorders in musicians. This article reviews the most relevant literature of the past several decades regarding treatment modalities of the most common conditions endured by professional instrumentalists, with an emphasis on surgical considerations in the field of plastic surgery. A thorough literature search was performed for articles that encompass the interface between plastic surgery and musicians. We examined disorders of the head, ears, eyes, nose, throat, hands, and upper extremities including stress velopharyngeal incompetence, disruption of the embouchure, nerve entrapments, arthritis, traumatic injuries, focal dystonia, Linburg–Comstock syndrome, and overuse disorder. Overall, the goal of this review is to provide a summary of the existing and successful procedures performed to address prevalent musician conditions.


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How to Cite

Chu, D., Eftekari, S. C., Nicksic, P. J., & Poore, S. O. (2023). Management of common conditions of the musician: a narrative review for plastic surgeons. Journal of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery, 58, 89–95.



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