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
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SOURCE Shriners Hospitals for Children