Self-Reported Musculoskeletal Injuries Limitations

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Lead Author(s): 

Andrew N. Pollak, MD

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

The annual National Health Interview Survey asks participants if they are limited in activities of daily living, such as the ability to dress oneself, to get in or out of bed or a chair, or to work due to health issues. For all health concerns,1 more than 13 in 100 people in the United States reported they had limitations in a prior three-month period due to health issues. Fractures accounted for 8% of the primary causes of limitation, resulting in limitation in 1 in 100 people in the United States. Among older women, those age 75 years and older, fractures rose to 10.3% of the total causes of limitations, but was only 6.4% for men. Fractures were responsible for limitations in daily activities in 14% of men in the age range of 45 to 64 years who reported limitations. Overall, women reported being limited due to fractures more often than men until they reached the age of 75 years or older. (Reference Table 6A.1.3.1 PDF CSV)

Help required with routine needs was reported by 23% of people requiring help with activities of daily living; nearly one in three of those with a fracture reported needing help with routine needs. When broken down into specific types of help, help with personal care was identified more frequently than other types of care. Four of ten reported not being able to work at all due to health care issues, with half with a fracture unable to work. An additional one in four reported they were limited in the type of work that could be done. Walking without equipment was difficult for one-third of those with a medical problem, while one-half of those with a fracture required some sort of medical equipment to walk. (Reference Table 6A.1.3.2 PDF CSV)
Self-Reported Activity Limitations Due to Medical Conditions, United States 2012

  • 1. Participants were asked, "What condition or health problem causes you to have difficulty with or need help with the following activities?" The list included conditions of vision, hearing, arthritis, back problems, injuries, heart and circulation conditions, diabetes, lung conditions, mental conditions, genitourinary system problems, tumors, alcohol or drug abuse, and old age," and responses included "yes" to at least one condition.


  • 2014

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