The changing face of disability in the US Army: the Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom effect.

Jeanne C. Patzkowski, Jessica C. Rivera, James R. Ficke, Joseph C. Wenke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Orthopaedic disorders account for significant disability among adults in the United States. Previous studies have demonstrated long-term disability in military personnel with musculoskeletal conditions. However, these studies focused primarily on battlefield-injured service members and did not evaluate the entire population. The goal of this study was to determine and compare the disabling conditions of the entire United States Army during peacetime and war. We identified the conditions leading to separation from military service before and during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. During war, more soldiers are found to be unfit for duty, and they have more conditions per individual that make them unfit. Orthopaedic conditions account for the greatest number of soldiers separated from military service at both time points studied (ie, January through March 2001, January through March 2009). Back pain and osteoarthritis are the two most common causes of separation from military service; these conditions are responsible for the most disability during peacetime and war.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S23-30
JournalThe Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Volume20 Suppl 1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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