March 2000 AAOS Report

Musculoskeletal conditions: Public health burden

In 1996, Americans restricted their activities for a total of almost 285 million days and spent 53.5 million days in bed because of back pain and injury. These conditions had significant impact not only upon the health of the public, but also on the health care system. They accounted for 16.2 million physician visits, one-half million hospitalizations and more than 2 million hospital days during the same period. These data, and similar data demonstrating the burden of musculoskeletal conditions, were prepared by the staff of the Academy's department of research and scientific affairs and presented at "The Burden of Musculoskeletal Conditions at the Start of the New Millennium" conference held by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Bone and Joint Decade at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on Jan. 14 and 15, 2000. Joseph A. Buckwalter, MD, chair of the Council on Research and Scientific Affairs; Stuart Weinstein, MD, chair of the Academy Bone and Joint Decade Committee; Bruce Browner, MD, chair of the Academy International Committee and member of the International Bone and Joint Decade Steering Committee; and Peter Amadio, MD, chair of the Academy Outcomes Studies Committee, participated in the conference. The Academy's research department staff, under the direction of Cynthia Shewan, PhD, as a member of the working group organizing the conference, also prepared a database of instruments (for example, questionnaires and rating scales) to assess musculoskeletal conditions.

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