Ask the average person to identify the #1 most common health condition for Americans and most will be stumped. According to IBJI’s Dr. Steven L. Haddad, “The correct answer is musculoskeletal disease, which impacts the greatest number of Americans, more than any other condition.” Nearly one in three Americans has a musculoskeletal condition requiring medical attention, explains Dr. Haddad.

“There’s a critical need to raise awareness about the widespread impact of these diseases,” according to Dr. Haddad. Which is why he recently participated in Research Capitol Hill Days, organized by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Orthopaedic surgeons like Dr. Haddad joined researchers and patients for the event. They visited legislators on Capitol Hill to raise awareness about musculoskeletal diseases and disorders and to emphasize the need for increased research funding to treat and prevent them.

“Bone and joint disorders affect more than 125 million American adults,” explains Dr. Haddad. “With an aging population, we anticipate an increase in the percentage of Americans who will be affected.” These conditions take a physical, as well as an economic toll. AAOS estimates that these conditions cost the U.S. economy $874 billion annually. According to Dr. Haddad, “We can’t emphasize enough how important it is for lawmakers to adequately fund research efforts.” Dr. Haddad joined the orthopaedic community in Washington to urge Congress to appropriate at least $34.5 billion for National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for fiscal year 2017. NIH-supported research has led to new and better treatments, as well as preventative measures and diagnostic testing.

Dr. Haddad specializes in the diagnosis and management of both simple and complex conditions affecting the foot and ankle. Within that discipline, he is recognized both nationally and internationally as an expert on total ankle replacement and complex ankle and hindfoot reconstruction. He is the past president of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, and was named one of America’s Top 26 Foot and Ankle Surgeons by Orthopedics This Week. Dr. Haddad practices at IBJI’s Glenview location.