Shriners Hospitals for Children Supports Bone and Joint Awareness Week

Oct 07, 2002, 01:00 ET from Shriners Hospitals for Children

    TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Conditions involving the bones, joints
 and muscles affect millions of people around the world. In the United States
 alone, more than half of all injuries, and more than 3 million
 hospitalizations annually, are due to musculoskeletal conditions and injuries.
     Shriners Hospitals for Children has joined forces with the American
 Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the National Athletic Trainers' Association
 and many others, to promote the United States Bone and Joint Awareness Week,
 October 12-20, a nationwide campaign to improve the quality of life for people
 with problems of the bones, joints and muscles.
     The effort is part of the United States Bone and Joint Decade (USBJD) 2002
 - 2011, a campaign aimed at raising awareness, seeking new treatments and
 educating the public on musculoskeletal conditions. Shriners Hospitals, one of
 the premier pediatric hospital networks in the world, is the first network to
 support the efforts of the USBJD. Shriners has been treating children with
 musculoskeletal conditions since 1922, and in 2001 alone, admitted more than
 22,000 children for orthopaedic care.
     Since its inception, Shriners Hospitals has been at the forefront of
 understanding musculoskeletal problems associated with childhood injuries and
 conditions. Each year, Shriners Hospitals distributes information on
 preventing domestic lawnmower accidents. The campaign's focus is to help curb
 the number of accidents involving children.  In the late 1970s, Shriners saw
 the need for specialized care and rehabilitation for children suffering from
 spinal cord injuries. In 1980, Shriners opened the first spinal cord injury
 rehabilitation unit for children at the Philadelphia Shriners Hospital. Today,
 three Shriners Hospitals contain spinal cord rehabilitation units.
     The Shriners' network includes 19 orthopaedic hospitals located throughout
 North America, three burns hospitals and one that treats children with
 orthopaedic problems, burns and spinal cord injuries.
     "Most people don't understand the extent to which musculoskeletal diseases
 affect the population, particularly children," said Dr. Peter F. Armstrong,
 director of medical affairs for Shriners Hospitals for Children. "By working
 together with both the Bone and Joint Decade and other involved organizations,
 Shriners Hospitals hope to raise awareness and improve treatment through
 continuing education and research."
     Shriners Hospitals also promote the USBJD's efforts to increase global
 funding for prevention activities and treatment research. Shriners'
 researchers have conducted extensive studies in understanding problems
 associated with musculoskeletal conditions in children. In 2002, $24 million
 has been allocated to Shriners Hospitals' medical research program, while $1.5
 million has been allocated to clinical outcomes research. Many of the projects
 focus on bone and joint disorders.
     Since the first Shriners Hospital opened in 1922, more than 675,000
 children with orthopaedic problems and burn injuries have received some of the
 best medical care in the world.  The 22 Shriners Hospitals provide care
 totally without charge to children up to their 18th birthday. The Shrine of
 North America, an international fraternity with approximately 500,000 members
 in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Republic of Panama, founded the hospital
     If you know a child Shriners Hospitals might be able to help, call
 1-800-237-5055 in the U.S.; 1-800-361-7256 in Canada; or visit
     For more information, contact:
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SOURCE Shriners Hospitals for Children