Bone and Joint Decade benefits public, orthopaedists
Stuart L. Weinstein, MD, chairman of the AAOS Bone and Joint Decade Committee, discusses the international initiative and importance to all orthopaedic surgeons.
What are the "core goals" of the Bone and Joint Decade?
The goals are to raise awareness on increasing societal impact of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders, and to empower patients to participate in decisions about their care. The initiative also will seek increased funding for prevention activities and research and will promote cost-effective prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders
Why support the Bone and Joint Decade?
Its a golden opportunity to show that the burden of disease of musculoskeletal conditions is significant. Data show that 1-in-7 Americans report a musculoskeletal impairment. Raising public awareness of the burden of musculoskeletal conditions will highlight orthopaedists as one of the most important groups that are concerned with these conditions.
The Bone and Joint Decade initiative will show that what we do has value. And, orthopaedic surgeons can expect significant downstream benefits.
What are the downstream benefits?
The initiative will result in increased awareness of burden of disease, improvement of the patient-physician relationship and better outcomes of treatment.
There will be increased awareness of the value of our treatments and value of our research. Around the world, musculoskeletal conditions affect hundreds of millions of people, and this figure is projected to increase sharply due to the predicted doubling of the number of people over age 50 by the year 2020. This population will need the treatments of orthopaedic surgeons.
The more the public knows about orthopaedics, the services provided, and the outcomes of treatments, the greater will be the demand for the services of orthopaedists. Patients will demand increased access to orthopaedists from their health care plan.
Increased public awareness will translate to increased awareness among legislative and government officials and health care policy will be altered accordingly.
The success of the Bone and Joint Decade effort will result in increased funding for prevention and increased research funding. Also, there will be increased numbers of researchers and new treatment options.