Acute Wiiitis Reported in NEJM

The preeminent medical journal NEJM published a case report by a resident physician who developed acute tendonitis due to playing too much with the new Nintendo video game console called Wii (pronounced "wee").

According to CNN:
"When Dr. Julio Bonis awoke one Sunday morning with a sore shoulder, he could not figure out what he had done. It felt like a sports injury, but he had been a bit of a couch potato lately. Then he remembered his new Wii..."

Wii remote (nicknamed "Wiimote") is a motion-sensitive controller and allows gamers to direct the on-screen video game by swinging it like a tennis racket. And this is how one gets wiiitis. Pure logic it is not. The Latin names of inflammatory conditions are made from the name of the affected organ and the suffix "-itis", for example tendonitis -- tendon inflammation, dermatitis -- skin (derma) inflammation. No matter how popular it is, Wii is not part of the human body (yet), and therefore creating names such as "nintendonitis" or "wiitis" should probably be avoided.

After BMJ published a study on didgeridoo playing as alternative treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, it seems like few things can surprise the readers of medical journals anymore. Life is truly stranger than fiction.

A didgeridoo. Click to hear the sound it makes.

Joshua Schwimmer of KidneyNotes maintains a collection of hilarious journal articles.

Acute Wiiitis. NEJM, Volume 356:2431-2432, June 7, 2007.
If it's not tennis elbow, it may be 'Wiiitis'. CNN, 2007.
Image sources: Wikipedia, Enrique Dans, a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License; Wikipedia, a GNU Free Documentation License.

Is the Superbowl Hazardous to Your Health? Once again, the New England Journal of Medicine has sunk to new lows in the interest of increasing its impact factor. Dr. Wes, 01/2008.

Updated: 01/31/2008

1 comment:

  1. I got a Wii for christmas and I absolutely love it. I played tennis for real growing up and I remember getting "tennis Elbow" and how much it hurt. When playing the Wii tennis, the memories came back. I played for over two hours once, and the next day, I could hardly move my arm up and down. After popping a few excedrine's and laying off the game for a while, it went away.