Affecting more than half of adults in the U.S., low back pain, osteoarthritis and musculoskeletal trauma are the three most common musculoskeletal conditions leading to emergency department and physician visits and hospital stays. Nearly $800 billion, or about 5 percent of the U.S. economy, goes towards diagnosing, treating, and managing musculoskeletal conditions.
“America spends more money on managing musculoskeletal conditions than it does on Social Security benefits for retired persons and their families,” said Elena Losina, PhD, professor of Orthopedic Surgery at BWH’s Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Harvard Medical School. “As people live longer and baby boomers age, this burden will increase.”
To help address these issues, BWH has launched the Policy and Innovation eValuation in Orthopedic Treatments (PIVOT) Center in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. The research conducted by the PIVOT Center will help policy makers, physicians and patients to maximize treatment health benefits while reducing the overall economic burden of musculoskeletal diseases.