CONTACT: JENNIFER CRONIN
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-9917; fax (319) 335-8034
Release: Feb. 2, 2000
UI orthopaedic surgeon hopes worldwide initiative will
improve musculoskeletal health
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A part of healthy living is keeping
one's bones and joints strong. Without these structures, we wouldn't have
any form or be able to perform any function.
Bones and joints are so important that professional
medical associations, patient advocacy groups, governments, and even the Secretary
General of the United Nations and the Pope have declared 2000-2010, "The Bone
and Joint Decade."
Stuart L. Weinstein, M.D., University of Iowa professor
of orthopaedic surgery, is serving as the chairman of the American Academy
of Orthopaedic Surgeons Task Force on The Bone and Joint Decade. Like the
others involved in the observance, Weinstein hopes the global campaign leads
to improved quality of life for people with musculoskeletal conditions and
helps to advance understanding and treatment of these conditions through research,
prevention and education. In the United States alone, musculoskeletal conditions
rank first among diseases according to measures of disability and on the basis
of visits to physicians' offices. Musculoskeletal conditions are the No. 1
category of reported impairments, according to the National Health Interview
Survey, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics in 1995.
Nobody ever really hears about musculoskeletal conditions
or their impact on individuals, families and society, Weinstein said.
"Musculoskeletal problems don't get their due because
they don't kill you," he explained.
Although the conditions usually are not life threatening,
they do have quite an impact. Take a look some recent statistics:
-- One in every seven Americans reported a musculoskeletal
-- Musculoskeletal conditions and injuries accounted for
130.7 million visits to physicians' offices and hospital outpatient and emergency
departments in 1995.
-- During that same year, musculoskeletal conditions were
estimated to cost $215 billion in direct and indirect costs.
Despite these alarming figures, expenditures for orthopaedic
research had been estimated to total only about $92 million annually, Weinstein
said. Of that total, only $16 million is devoted to clinical research.
Over the next 10 years, individuals involved in The
Bone and Joint Decade initiative want to raise awareness of the increasing
societal impact of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders, empower patients
to participate in decisions about their care, increase funding for prevention
activities and research, and promote cost-effective prevention and treatment
of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders.
The issue of bone and joint health will become increasingly
important as more and more baby boomers reach the age when musculoskeletal
conditions are most prevalent, Weinstein said. Bone and joint disorders account
for more than half of all chronic conditions in people over 50 years of age
in developed countries and are the most common cause of severe, long-term
pain and disability.
To learn more about The Bone and Joint Decade, visit
the international web site at http://www.bonejointdecade.org
or the national web site at http://www.boneandjointdecade.org.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership
between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the
patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.