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Campaigns address bone & joint diseases
Wednesday February 13, 2013


With nearly half of American adults affected by musculoskeletal conditions, the cost of bone and joint health expected to increase and growing risk factors such as obesity, the U.S. Bone and Joint Initiative unites experts from disparate disciplines to raise awareness and advance research into improved prevention and care.

The initiative evolved from the U.S. Bone and Joint Decade, 2002-11, as proclaimed by former President George W. Bush.

The USBJI estimates 48% of Americans age 18 and older suffer from musculoskeletal conditions, which are the most common cause of severe long-term pain and physical disability.

While the USBJI does not conduct any research, participants identify areas in need of additional study. The organization holds a biannual summit at which participants discuss gaps in research and develop action plans. The 2013 summit is scheduled for Nov. 18-19 and focuses on best practices in patient-centered care. (Email for more information.)

The USBJIís Young Investigators Initiative, a grant-mentoring program, aims at increasing the number of clinician scientists working on musculoskeletal studies. Mentors help the young scientists obtain grants and advance their careers.

The USBJI also has developed patient education programs, which clinicians can adopt for outreach campaigns ( "Fit to a T" focuses on osteoporosis prevention. T-score refers to a measure of bone density and susceptibility to fragility fracture. "Experts in Arthritis" educates adults living with the condition and their caregivers about the condition. "PB&J" (Protect Your Bones and Joints) teaches teens and young adults about musculoskeletal disorders and how to prevent them. Health professionals can receive the school-based programís materials for presentation in their communities.

Each October, the USBJI promotes bone and joint health through a variety of media efforts to inform the public about musculoskeletal conditions. Additionally, the many member organizations — including professional associations, corporate and government entities, media outlets and schools — provide information to consumers through various routes, such as the American Orthopaedic Associationís Own the Bone website (

The initiative also focuses on professional development. It convened the Chronic Osteoarthritis Management Initiative Work Group in May 2012 ( and encourages professionals to screen patients for the disease. The work group also has called for standardizing screening tools and developing tools that promote patient engagement.

The initiative is in the midst of a strategic planning process, scheduled for completion in the first half of the year. The plan will outline future moves, and identify voids in services and potential for partnerships.

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Wednesday February 13, 2013
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