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The Bone and Joint Decade 2000–2010
  1. Member, International Steering Committee, Bone and Joint Decade 2000–2010
  2. Duke of Cornwall Rheumatology Department, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro TR1 3LJ

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The goal of the Bone and Joint Decade is to improve the health related quality of life for people with musculoskeletal disorders throughout the world.

Musculoskeletal disorders are the most common causes of severe long term pain and physical disability, affecting hundreds of millions of people around the world. They affect all sectors of society. Back pain is the second leading cause of sick leave. Fractures related to osteoporosis have almost doubled in number in the past decade; it is estimated that 40% of all women over 50 years in age will suffer from an osteoporotic fracture. The severe injuries caused by traffic accidents and war produce a tremendous demand for preventive and restorative help. It is anticipated that 25% of health expenditure of developing countries will be spent on trauma related care by the year 2010. Despite improvements in prevention and treatment, crippling diseases and deformities of childhood continue to deprive many of their normal development. However, joint diseases are of especial significance in older age groups, accounting for half of all chronic conditions in persons aged 65 and over.

This morbidity is not reflected in the priority given to these problems for their effective prevention and treatment and for research to advance understanding. All musculoskeletal conditions have suffered from a lack of attention by the medical profession, the politicians and the public because they are not life threatening and many are considered to be a natural part of aging. Disabling pain is something that many suffer in silence and do not lobby for the better provision of care. The costs of these conditions are however huge in lost income and also the consumption of health and social resources. The number of aging people is expanding rapidly throughout the world. There are now effective methods of prevention and novel …

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