Vail, Colorado orthopaedic knee surgeon, Dr. Robert F. LaPrade, along with his patient, Nick Kennedy, joined a group of other orthopaedic surgeons, patients, and researchers on Capitol Hill, Thursday, February 28, to raise awareness about musculoskeletal disorders. The emphasis of the day was to vocalize the need for research funding; the importance of this research was discussed with representatives, congressmen and senators from WA and CO. Nearly 100 million Americans a year identify bone and joint disorders as their number one health concern, and nearly one in every three Americans has a musculoskeletal condition requiring medical attention.

Disorders of the musculoskeletal system can be extremely debilitating and costly for patients. Musculoskeletal pain is pain that affects the joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. Injuries to the musculoskeletal system can be caused from trauma to an area (such as in a sports related accident), overuse, strain, and degenerative wear and tear.

Nick Kennedy is currently an employee at the Steadman Philippon Research Institute. He underwent surgery at the hands of Dr. LaPrade where he had his ACL and FCL reconstructed, along with his medial meniscus repaired. He was also treated with PRP therapy and BMAC (bone marrow aspirate concentrate) to speed healing. Both of these treatment methods continue to make huge strides in healing and recovery for patients with serious joint conditions. Research funding is what moves these treatments, and many more, forward in a progressive manner.

In 2012, orthopaedic health care spending was in the high billions and accounted for approximately 7.7% of the GDP. Advocacy teams urged Congress to appropriate $535.6 million in Fiscal Year 2014 for the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), maintaining the amount appropriated in the 2012 budget.