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Learning Center

A Proposed Musculoskeletal Failure Scale

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Patients, doctors, and government officials routinely underestimate the impact of musculoskeletal (MSK) disease. Proper framing of the true burden of disease may improve awareness and management. A MSK failure scale is proposed. Its potential benefits, the work needed to establish it, and potential barriers to implementation are summarized. Originally offered live as an On Demand session at the 2021 Virtual Annual meeting.

Learning Objectives

  1. Appreciate the global burden of musculoskeletal disorders.
  2. Recognize the treatment gap for osteoporotic fractures.
  3. Understand how a validated functional musculoskeletal failure scale would add value to research studies and improve awareness of its impact.


Robert D. Blank, MD, PhD

Visiting Scientist

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Robert D Blank is Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the Medical College of Wisconsin and a visiting scientist at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia. He is a past president of the ISCD, a fellow of the ACP and the ASBMR, and a member of the ANZBMS, ASHG, Endocrine Society, GSA, APS, and AHA. He serves on the IOF's Council of Scientific Advisors, the boards of directors of the International Federation of Musculoskeletal Research Societies and the Asia-Pacific Fragility Fracture Alliance. He is an associate editor of Bone and a member of the editorial boards of JBMR, Osteoporosis International, Endocrinology, Translational Research, and Clinical Reviews in Bone and Mineral Metabolism.

Dr. Blank is a physician-scientist with a laboratory research program focused on the genetic basis of bone biomechanical performance. Other research interests include the genetics of congenital vertebral malformation, best DXA practices, undertreatment of osteoporosis, and osteosclerotic disorders. He is an author of over 100 publications and has held multiple federal research grants. He served as associate director of the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Wisconsin from 2006-2013.

Dr. Blank received undergraduate degrees from Columbia University and the University of Cambridge and his MD and PhD degrees from New York University. He completed residency at Weill-Cornell in internal medicine and did his fellowship in endocrinology in the combined Weill-Cornell and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center program. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Rockefeller University concurrently with fellowship. He began his faculty career at the Hospital for Special Surgery and Weill-Cornell College of Medicine. He moved to the University of Wisconsin in 2000 and to the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2013, retiring in 2019 on moving to Australia.

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Medical Certificate
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