June 1999 Bulletin

Academy aids Bone and Joint Decade plans

The development of the Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 moved another step forward in March when the Steering Group on the Bone and Joint Motion Project met in Zurich, Switzerland.

The meeting was held to discuss the burden of musculoskeletal disease and define the parameters used to measure that burden. The working group is collecting data on the prevalence, incidence and outcomes, defined as Disability Adult Life Years (DALY), from countries around the world.

James D. Heckman, MD, 1998 Academy president, and Cynthia Shewan, director of the Academy's department of research and scientific affairs, discussed what has been done to evaluate the burden of musculoskeletal disease in the United States. They also reviewed the Academy's outcome measurements programs.

Because the steering committee was composed mostly of rheumatologists the focus has been on osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. "There was no surgeon's perspective, but we were able to get pediatric deformity and disease and musculoskeletal trauma added to the list," Dr. Heckman said. "Trauma, particularly road trauma, is very important in developing nations."

The steering committee is setting the agenda for a major meeting in November at the Geneva, Switzerland -headquarters of the World Health Organization. Representatives of the international musculoskeletal community will discuss the global burden of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, low back pain, major limb trauma and children's musculoskeletal problems.

The Bone and Joint Decade concept grew out of a meeting in Lund, Sweden in April 1998, sponsored by the Swedish Health Ministry and Lund University.

President Clinton has been asked to officially declare 2000-2010 the Bone and Joint Decade.


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