After more than 20 years of preparing sushi at Washington, D.C. restaurants Kaz Sushi Bistro and Oh Fish!, chef Kaz Okochi has come down with an interesting ailment, according to The Washington Post: Sushi Elbow.
Or, more accurately, tendinitis brought on by the movement of the elbow needed to mold the sushi rice into that perfectly rectangular shape.
At first, Okochi thought that the pain was caused by playing squash, but it continued to worsen even after he stopped.
A cortisone treatment didn’t help, and now the chef is planning to have surgery on his elbow sometime soon, and it could take six months to fully recover.
While Sushi Elbow isn’t a commonly reported ailment, it definitely appears to be a phenomenon. A 1989 article, also from The Washington Post, profiled chef Kojiro Inoue, who claimed that making upward of 1,000 sushi rolls per day caused him to develop the ailment "Just like Tennis Elbow," he claimed), that required him to wear a cast for a year.
Looks like the dangers of sushi-making extend beyond sharp knives.