Using the theme Look to the future – or you will live in the past (idiomatic translation) the congress aimed to promote awareness amongst colleagues of the Bone and Joint Decade, established by the World Health Organisation, and to emphasise the importance of musculoskeletal diseases and injuries. ‘The macroeconomic loss caused by direct treatment, as well as indirect expenditure for the consequences of diseases and injuries in our medical disciplines, is around ?100 billion a year, i.e. around 5% of the gross domestic product. 40% of all work days lost through sickness is caused by musculoskeletal diseases. Experts predict a further increase due to the expected demographic developments.’ Many of the detailed scientific topics, e.g. Accidents and Diseases in the Aged, and Complex Situations in Endoprosthetics, and the sessions on diseases of the spine or pain therapy, were dedicated to this topic.
During lunchtime lectures, renowned personalities spoke on subjects well beyond their own fields, to expose exciting perspectives – for example doctor and theologian Manfred Lütz explored A Zest for Life – Risks and Side Effects of Health; for the Erich Lexer Lecture, Prof. Kuner recollected one of the founding fathers of both medical disciplines; in the Pauwels Memorial Lecture Prof. Tillman focused on the causal histogenesis of diseases of the musculoskeletal system; the Healthcare Market as an Engine for Growth was examined by Prof. Nefjodow, and a lecture on The Healthcare System and Demography was delivered by Prof. Raffelhüschen.
On the final day Professor Heydemann spoke on Learning from Innovations of Nature and Professor Holman looked at Interrelations between Physical and Mental Activity.