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Combat and Noncombat Musculoskeletal Injuries in the US Military

Grimm, Patrick D. MD; Mauntel, Timothy C. PhD; Potter, Benjamin K. MD

Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy Review: September 2019 - Volume 27 - Issue 3 - p 84–91
doi: 10.1097/JSA.0000000000000246
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Musculoskeletal Injuries (MSKI) are exceedingly common in the US Military, resulting in compromised military medical readiness and a substantial burden on both health care and financial resources. Severe combat-related MSKI sustained during nearly 2 decades of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan have resulted in frequently devastating injuries that challenge acute care capabilities, require extensive rehabilitation, and often result in long-term disability. Non–combat-related MSKI, while often less severe, are far more common than combat-related MSKI and overall cause a substantially greater number of lost duty days and nondeployable Service Members. Given the strain placed on health care and financial resources by MSKI, further efforts must be directed towards prevention, treatment, and rehabilitative strategies in order to mitigate the burden of MSKI in the US Military.

Department of Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, Uniformed Services University-Walter Reed, Bethesda, MD

P.D.G. and B.K.P. are military service members. This work was prepared as part of their official duties. Title 17, USC, §105 provides that “copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the US Government.” Title 17, USC, §101 defines a US Government work as a work prepared by military service member or employee of the US Government as part of that person’s official duties. The opinions and assertions contained herein are the private ones of the authors and are not to be construed as official or reflecting the views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences or any other agency of the US Government.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Patrick D. Grimm, MD, Department of Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, Uniformed Services University-Walter Reed, 8901 Wisconsin Ave., Building 19, 2nd Floor-Orthopaedics, Bethesda, MD 20889.

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