An estimated 127 million Americans––one in two adults––are affected by a musculoskeletal condition, and these disorders cost an estimated $213 billion in annual treatment, care, and lost wages, according to a new report issued by the United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI). The report outlines the prevalence and projected growth of musculoskeletal disorders in the U.S. and recommends strategies for improving patient outcomes while reducing rising health and societal costs.
According to the report, the most prevalent musculoskeletal disorders include arthritis and related conditions; back and neck pain; injuries from falls, work, military service, and sports; and osteoporosis. An estimated 126.6 million Americans had a musculoskeletal disorder in 2012. Specifically:
In 2011, the annual U.S. cost for treatment and lost wages related to musculoskeletal disorders was $213 billion, or 1.4% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). When adding the burden of other conditions affecting persons with musculoskeletal conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, the total indirect and direct costs increased to $874 billion, or 5.7% of the GDP in 2015, the report notes.
Other data on the costs of musculoskeletal diseases and injuries include:
“If we continue on our current trajectory, we are choosing to accept more prevalence and incidence of these disorders, spiraling costs, restricted access to needed services, and less success in alleviating pain and suffering––a high cost,” said Edward H. Yelin, PhD, co-chair of the report’s steering committee, and professor of medicine and health policy at the University of California–San Francisco. The time has come to change this scenario to one with more evidence-based interventions and effective treatments, while simultaneously focusing on prevention, he said.
Source: AAOS; March 1, 2016.