The Bone and Joint Decade was initiated because of the epidemic of musculoskeletal disease that is occurring worldwide as the population ages. The concept of the Decade commenced in 1998 in Lund, Sweden, when orthopaedic surgeons, rheumatologists and other health professionals determined to increase the profile of these conditions in the community. The Bone and Joint Decade was launched in Geneva by the World Health Organisation in January 2000. In Australia musculoskeletal disorders are the second most common condition presented to a general practitioner and the third leading cause of health system expenditure, with an estimated total cost of over $24 billion in 2007. The mandate of the Bone and Joint Decade has been renewed for another 10 years (2010-2020) with the vision of a society where prevention, treatment and care of people with musculoskeletal disorders is of a high standard and consistently accessible in order to improve the health-related quality of life for people with, or at risk of, musculoskeletal disorders. The mission is to reduce the burden and cost of musculoskeletal disorders to individuals, carers and society and to promote musculoskeletal health and musculoskeletal science worldwide. To achieve this, musculoskeletal disorders and injuries should be among the leading major health concerns in the minds, actions and funding priorities of international health agencies, governments, non-governmental organisations, medical and research communities, funders, media and the general public. The Bone and Joint Decade is dependent on the activities of all the professional, scientific and patient organisations relevant to all conditions that impact on musculoskeletal health working together at national, regional and international levels. The success is dependent on the contribution by individuals like yourself, variously physicians, nurses, therapists, patients and other volunteers, often above and beyond expectations.
Chopra, A. (2001). Bone and joint decade. JK Science, 3(1), 47–50.