Are you part of the Bone and Joint Decade?

Are your patients “Fit to a T”?

Are you a young investigator? Do you realize the economic burden of musculoskeletal conditions in the United States?

The US Bone and Joint Decade (USBJD) National Action Network helps spread the word about the importance of musculoskeletal health and helps to increase awareness and resources for education, research, and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. AAOS members have been actively involved in many activities. Here are just a few of the important initiatives that have been addressed.

Fit to a T
More than 130 sessions of this bone health and osteoporosis publiceducation program have been held. Fit to a T is the USBJD’s response to the Surgeon General’s first-ever report on bone health and osteoporosis.

Fit to a T recognizes the importance of the T-score, a measure of a person’s bone density and susceptibility to fragility fractures. The education program was developed in partnership with the Public Library Association, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses, Business and Professional Women/USA, American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, National Association of Commissions on Women, Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals, and American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedists.

Although relevant and applicable to people of all ages, the program is especially aimed at men and women in their mid-40s to late 60s, as well as people who are highly susceptible to osteoporotic fractures or have experienced a break. The goal is to reach people before they have a fracture, so they can take necessary steps to prevent bone disease and make changes in their lives to alter the course of the condition.

Education sessions are conducted primarily at community public libraries, community centers, churches, hospitals and clinics, corporations, and government offices. The hour-long program focuses on bone health, osteoporosis, and avoiding fragility fractures. Participants get the information needed to make informed decisions on bone health, including copies of the Surgeon General’s report.

At each session, a medical expert (often an orthopaedic surgeon or nurse), a health information specialist/librarian, and a patient team up to present the program. If you are interested in conducting one of these sessions in your area or would like more information, stop by the exhibit located on level 2 of Moscone West.

Young Investigators Initiative
This joint program of the USBJD and BJD Canada teaches and mentors young clinician-scientists to become successful grant applicants. Since the program began, 28 participants have obtained more than $9 million in approved research grants.

According to Andreas Gomoll, MD, a first-time participant at the Spring 2007 workshop, “This program is exactly what young investigators at my stage need to plot a path towards a successful career as a clinical scientist. Many thanks.”

Project 100
Since the Association of American Medical Colleges issued recommendations on the skills, knowledge, and attitudes graduating medical students should possess in musculoskeletal health in 2005, the challenge has been to encourage medical schools to adopt these recommendations. The USBJD has working with the National Board of Medical Examiners to develop a Subject Examination in Musculoskeletal Medicine.

All 125 medical schools in the United States have declared their support for the BJD. In 2007, 17 musculoskeletal disciplines met and agreed to establish of a Council of Musculoskeletal Educators.

Rare bone diseases
The USBJD is sponsoring a meeting Oct.23-24, 2008, in Bethesda, Md., to bring together scientists and clinicians with a special interest in rare bone diseases. As an activity of the Rare Bone Disease Patient Network, the goals of the Conference are to facilitate an exchange of scientific and clinical information, develop new collaborations, and propose a future research agenda on rare bone diseases.

Economic burden of musculoskeletal conditions
The AAOS, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American College of Rheumatology, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, Arthritis Foundation, Orthopaedic Research Society, and Scoliosis Research Society have jointly developed a new edition of The Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases in the United States (BMUS).This important advocacy and research resource is available on-line at, in hard copy, and as an Executive Summary. BMUS objectively measures the prevalence, and social and economic costs of bone and joint conditions.

BJD Global Network Meeting
The USBJD will host the 2009 Bone and Joint Decade Global Network Meeting Oct. 21-25, 2009, in Washington, D.C. This annual meeting brings together healthcare professionals and patients from the 62 countries with BJD National Action Networks. This will be a unique opportunity to raise the profile of musculoskeletal conditions in the world, and it is hoped that leadership and members from all the participating organizations of the USBJD will be represented.

For more information
Be sure to visit the exhibit located in Moscone West, Level 2 lobby to learn more about how you can become involved. You can also contact Toby King, USBJD executive director, at (847) 384-4009/4010 or

Find more information on allUSBJD projects and programs at