USBJD unveils national action plan for bone health

By: Toby King

By Toby King

In June 2008, more than 150 individuals, representing an array of stakeholders concerned about bone health, met in Washington, D.C., to develop an action plan and agenda to advance bone health promotion and disease prevention.

The National Coalition for Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases, which includes the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation, and the Paget Foundation, convened the meeting. The U.S. Bone and Joint Decade (USBJD) was represented on the planning committee. AAOS President Tony Rankin, MD, represented the Academy. J. Edward Puzas, PhD, president of the USBJD; Nancy Lane, MD, immediate past president, and I also attended.

Meeting participants built on the findings and recommendations of the 2004 Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis and on lessons learned from the development and implementation of the European Action Plan for Osteoporosis. Participants also discussed current bone health activities and initiatives, and they considered the latest scientific advances, policy con­cerns, and findings regarding bone health awareness, education, and practice. The discussions generated numerous concerns, ideas, and suggestions, which participants used to devise recommended steps for advanc­ing bone health in the United States.

National Action Plan

The National Action Plan for Bone Health is a direct result of their work and is a testament to the widespread commitment to making the issues and importance of bone health a national health priority.

Summit participants condensed dozens of ideas into specific steps for improving the nation’s bone health. For the action plan, the recommendations were grouped into four priority areas:

  • Develop a bone health alliance.
  • Promote bone health and prevent disease.
  • Improve diagnosis and treatment.
  • Enhance research, surveillance, and evaluation.

Each of these four priority areas includes several action steps to be taken by the bone health community. Next steps for the action plan include seeking more input and guidance from stakeholder groups, with a focus on determining more specifically how to accomplish these steps and who will take responsibility for doing so.

To download a copy of the plan, visit

For more information on the USBJD, visit Scientific Exhibit 89 in Hall D. The exhibit, “The Incidence and Prevalence of Pediatric Trauma in the United States,” is sponsored by the AAOS Bone and Joint Decade Committee.

Toby King is executive director of the U.S. Bone and Joint Decade. He can be reached at