Summary Any Diagnoses

Musculoskeletal Conditions of Children and Adolescents

Lead Author(s): 

Scott B. Rosenfeld, MD

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

In 2012, more than 19 million children and adolescents age 20 years and younger received treatment in medical centers, physicians’ office, and hospitals for a condition that included a musculoskeletal related condition. More than two in three visits/discharges (68%) were for the treatment of traumatic injuries, a number that excludes sports injuries not based on diagnosis codes and likely already included in traumatic injuries. The second most common diagnosis is a pain syndrome, accounting for more than 1 in 10 visits (13%). Pain syndromes include amplified musculoskeletal pain, juvenile primary fibromyalgia syndrome, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, benign hypermobility syndrome, and benign limb pains. The third most frequent diagnosis is deformity, accounting for just over 9% of all visits. (Reference Table 7.1.1 PDF CSV)

Health Care Visits for Children and Adolescents Age 20 and Under with a Musculoskeletal (MSK) Related Diagnosis for Any Diagnoses, United States 2012

More than one-half (57%) of visits by children and adolescents for a condition that included a musculoskeletal-related condition were to physicians’ offices. Hospital discharges accounted for less than 3% of total visits. Health care visits that included a musculoskeletal-related condition represented 7% of visits made by children and adolescents for any reason, but were nearly 16% of all visits to the emergency department. (Reference Table 7.1.1 PDF CSV)

Total Children and Adolescent Musculoskeletal (MSK) Discharges/Visits for Any Diagnoses by Source, United States 2012


  • 2014

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