gms | German Medical Science

54. Jahrestagung der Norddeutschen Orthopädenvereinigung e. V.

Norddeutsche Orthopädenvereinigung

16.06. bis 18.06.2005, Hamburg

Burden of muscoskeletal conditions in Germany in the Bone and Joint Decade

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author K. Dreinhöfer - Rehabilitationskrankenhaus, Universität Ulm, Abt.f.Orthopädische Chirurge, Ulm
  • H. Merx - Ulm
  • W. Puhl - Ulm

Norddeutsche Orthopädenvereinigung. 54. Jahrestagung der Norddeutschen Orthopädenvereinigung e.V.. Hamburg, 16.-18.06.2005. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2005. Doc05novP06

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: June 13, 2005

© 2005 Dreinhöfer et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




To report on health care utilization and associated cost for musculoskeletal conditions in Germany


As part of a Bone and Joint Decade project data were collected from governmental bodies, health insurance companies, pension funds, hospital discharge reports and other sources for the year 2002.


According to the hospital discharge reports 17.8 % of all acute hospital days were due to musculoskeletal conditions or injuries, with joint disorders and back problems being the most frequent reasons for admission. 40% of all inpatient rehabilitation treatments were caused by musculoskeletal conditions. In the ambulatory segment, 27% of all patients visited during a 12 month period an orthopaedic surgeon or a rheumatologist. In addition, 37% of all GP consultations were due to musculoskeletal complains. These disorders were also responsible for about 40% of all days lost from work and 25% of all early retirements. The overall cost for musculoskeletal conditions in 1999 in Germany was about 40 Billion Euro, with back problems responsible for about 50%, and joint problems for another 30%.


Musculoskeletal conditions are the major cause of morbidity in the German society and substantially influence health and quality of life, with enormous cost to health systems. Considering the demographic changes immediate strategies have to be developed to address these problems, to prevent the diseases and to allow for early and appropriate care.