The lessons learned from the Canadian Forces physiotherapy experience during the peacekeeping operations in Bosnia

Luc Jean Hébert, Peter Rowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The musculoskeletal injuries and soldiers' demographic profiles observed by physiotherapy (PT) officers during the Canadian Forces peacekeeping mission Op-Palladium in Bosnia between 2000 and 2004 were characterized. The number of PT visits (N = 4,167; range, 310-974) and gender distribution (N = 2,558 cases; male, 80.8%-91%; female, 9.0%-16.4%) varied between tours. On average, >30% of the entire Canadian Forces contingent required PT services. Lower limb injuries were the single leading reason for PT treatment (41.8%) followed by the spine (28.5%) and the upper limb (21.5%). The most commonly affected joints were the knee (17.2%) and ankle (16.1%), the shoulder (14.4%), and the lumbar spine (14.4%). The 26 to 35 age group and combat arms showed the highest incidence of musculoskeletal injuries (p < 0.001). The majority of cases seen were subacute and chronic (68%). Primary prevention activities and the capacity to provide the full scope of PT services were identified as two key factors contributing to the maintenance of operational readiness of the troops.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)829-834
Number of pages6
JournalMilitary medicine
Volume172
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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