Global Forum: The Burden of Bone and Joint InfectionsA Growing Demand for More Resources

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The rate and severity of septic complications following joint replacement surgery and the incidence of posttraumatic infections are projected to increase at a faster pace because of a tendency to operate on high-risk patients, including older patients, patients with diabetes, and patients who are immunocompromised or have comorbidities. Musculoskeletal infections are devastating adverse events that may become life-threatening conditions. They create an additional burden on total health-care expenditures, and can lead to functional impairment, long-lasting disability, or even permanent handicap, with the inevitable social and economic burdens. The scientific community should take a more active role to draw public attention to the plight of hundreds of thousands of people across the globe who experience complications, become disabled, and, in some cases, die, and it should highlight what could be achieved if the global community takes decisive steps to improve access, early detection, and appropriate care. However, mitigating the adverse personal, clinical, and socioeconomic effects of these conditions requires increasing financial resources provided by both governments and funding organizations. Furthermore, a targeted action plan from the providers and the professional societies should be put in place so that the burden created by bone and joint infections is included in the agenda for global health-care priorities.

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