Healthcare Visits for MSK Traumatic Injuries


Lead Author(s): 

Jaimo Ahn, MD, PhD, FACS
Arvind D Nana, MD
Gudrun Mirick, MD
Anna N Miller, MD, FACS

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I Watkins-Castillo, PhD

Healthcare visits for treatment of musculoskeletal injuries include hospital discharges, emergency department visits, outpatient clinic visits, and physician’s office visits. Overall, 1 out of every 15 healthcare visits (6.8%) is for treatment of a musculoskeletal injury. In 2013, sprains and strains and fractures were the most frequently treated type of musculoskeletal injury. (Reference Table 5B.2.1 PDF CSV)

Female injured are slightly more likely to be treated in a hospital than male (55% vs  51% of the population). Persons age 65 and over are far more likely to be treated for a musculoskeletal injury in the hospital, while those aged 45 to 64 are more likely to visit a physician’s office.  Non-Hispanic whites are treated for musculoskeletal injuries in all healthcare settings more than other racial/ethnic groups. Residents of the Midwest region visit outpatient clinics for injury treatment more than residents of other regions, while those living in the West are most likely to visit a physician’s office for injury healthcare. (Reference Table 5B.2.1 PDF CSV; Table 5B.2.2 PDF CSV; Table 5B.2.3 PDF CSV; Table 5B.2.4 PDF CSV)

Nearly 6 in 10 ( 58%) of musculoskeletal injuries for which healthcare treatment was sought were treated in a physician’s office. An additional 3 in 10 were treated in an emergency department and another 1 in an outpatient clinic. Less than 3% were severe enough to require hospitalization. (Reference Table 5B.2.5 PDF CSV)

Three out of four (74%) fracture injuries admitted to the hospital are the admitting (first) diagnosis, while one in five other injuries are diagnosed as the admitting diagnoses. The ratio is much higher as the first diagnosis when treated in the emergency department. (Reference Table 5B.3 PDF CSV)


  • Fourth Edition

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