The musculoskeletal system consists of the body's bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and cartilage.
Back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the United States. It can range from a dull, constant ache to sudden, sharp pain that makes it hard to move.
What is bursitis? It is a common condition that causes swelling and pain around muscles and bones.
What is fibromyalgia? It is a long-lasting or chronic disorder that causes muscle pain and fatigue (feeling tired).
What is fibrous dysplasia? It happens when healthy bone is replaced with other types of tissue. Bones may become weak or oddly shaped, or they may even break.
Injuries to the growth plate happen when a break or fracture develops near or at the end of a long bone.
There are more than 200 heritable disorders of connective tissue, and they are related to problems in genes responsible for building connective tissues.
Hip replacement surgery removes damaged or diseased parts of a hip joint and replaces them with new, man-made parts.
Joint replacement surgery removes damaged or diseased parts of a joint and replaces them with new, man-made parts.
Knee problems happen when you injure or develop disease in your knee and it can’t do its job.
What is Marfan syndrome? It is a disorder that affects connective tissue, which supports many parts of your body. Marfan is often a genetic disease.
What is osteogenesis imperfecta? It is a genetic disease, also called brittle bone disease, that causes bones to be weak and break easily.
What is osteonecrosis? It is a bone disease that results from the loss of blood supply. Without blood, the bone tissue dies, causing the bone to collapse.
What is osteoporosis? It is a disease in which your bones become weak and are more likely to break. There are no symptoms until a bone breaks.
What is Paget’s disease? It is a disorder that causes bones to grow too large and weaken. You can have Paget’s disease in any bones in your body.
What is scoliosis? It is a disorder causing a sideways curve of the spine. Curves are often S- or C-shaped. In most people, there is no known cause for this curve.
Most shoulder problems happen when soft tissues in the shoulder region break down. The various causes and symptoms depend on the type of shoulder problem.
What is spinal stenosis? It is the narrowing of the spine. This narrowing puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves and can cause pain.
Sports injuries are injuries that happen when playing sports or exercising. There are two kinds of sports injuries: acute and chronic.
Parents learn about common sports injuries among youth and the ways to prevent such injuries from happening.
A sprain is an injury to a ligament (tissue that connects bones). A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon (cords of tissue connecting muscle to bone).
What is tendinitis? It is swelling and pain in a joint usually caused by repeated injuries to a tendon, the part of the joint that connects muscles to bones.
Selected Research Areas
Led by Dr. Timothy Bhattacharyya, the unit investigates orthopedic conditions, including femur fractures and hip infections, and related treatments.
Muscle and Bone Disease News
Spotlight on Research | August 23, 2016
Two recent studies on a rare genetic disorder that causes excess bone to form have greatly contributed to our understanding of how the disease progresses, and have identified promising treatment options. The studies, funded in part by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), were conducted in mice and published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.
Spotlight on Research | March 1, 2016
A golden retriever carrying the gene mutation for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) unexpectedly remained healthy for life, sparking interest in a new avenue of investigation into DMD treatment. The study, which was published in the journal Cell and supported in part by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), revealed that a gene not known to be linked to DMD may hold promise for counteracting the effects of the muscle wasting disease.
Spotlight on Research | December 5, 2015
A new study in mice, funded in part by the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), has shown that stem cells in the muscles lining the roof of the mouth and throat behave differently than those in other parts of the body, and are distinct at the molecular level. The findings, which appeared in the journal Stem Cells, suggest that changes to these cells contribute to swallowing problems associated with certain muscular dystrophies and aging.
Spotlight on Research | November 5, 2015
Joint inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may continue even after a patient no longer has symptoms, according to a study funded in part by the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). The study was published in the journal Arthritis Care and Research.
Spotlight on Research | November 5, 2015
Using a large-scale technological approach, a team of researchers has uncovered several dozen proteins that could serve as biomarkers for the muscle wasting disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). This discovery may lead to the development of a biomarker-based blood test that would help doctors assess the status of a patient and the effectiveness of treatment approaches.
Spotlight on Research | August 5, 2015
An antibody that has been tested as a treatment for osteoporosis may also boost long bone strength in osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), according to a study funded by the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and conducted in mice. The study was published in the journal Bone.