Two new disorders -- musher's knee and hooker's elbow -- have entered the medical annals of the unusual, the offbeat and the downright bizarre. The maladies fall into the same category as dog walker's elbow, disco digit and ponderous purse disease. They're all are aches and pains that have been reported in the letters-to-the-editor section of the New England Journal of Medicine. The latest were reported by Dr. William Dahl and three associates from PHS Hospital in Kotzebue, Alaska. In essence, musher's knee and hooker's elbow are Arctic versions of runner's knee and tennis elbow. Musher's knee, a pain that occurs among people who drive dog teams, "is caused by the sharp backward kicking of the leg used by the team driver at the rear of the sled to spur the team to greater speed," they wrote. Hooker's elbow afflicts ice fishers. It occurred "in two elderly women in whom a lateral epicondylitis developed after they had been ice fishing [hooking] for many days. Here, the fisher sits over a hole in the ice and repeatedly jerks upward on a fishing line attached to a wooden stick."
Among other peculiar aliments that have found their way into print in the journal are:
Dog walker's elbow. That's another version of tennis elbow that results from walking a frisky dog who tugs on the leash.
Urban cowboy rhabdomyolysis. That's usually minor muscle damage that results from bouncing up and down on mechanical bulls in barrooms.
Ponderous purse disease. A neck pain that results from lugging around an overloaded shoulder bag. It's a relative of back pocket sciatica, a pain in the thigh caused by a fat wallet.
Sports car palsy. This is a nerve injury that comes from resting the leg against the dashboard during long drives in small cars. Another version of the ailment is arm wrestlers' palsy.
Disco digit. A sore finger that results from snapping the finger while dancing.