Israel to mark first joint disease awareness day

The first Israeli "awareness day" for joint implants will be held on Tuesday under the auspices of the Health Ministry. There are at least 150,000 Israelis of various ages who have had to undergo surgery to replace damaged joints - in the hip, knee, wrist, shoulder, ankle and other parts of the body. Studies abroad show that half of those over the age of 65 will at some time suffer from chronic rheumatic diseases. With the aging of the population, the number of victims will grow, leading to increasing disability. The World Health Organization, the White House and the British government have declared the first 10 years of the 21st century "The Bone and Joint Decade." Every year, 5,000 artificial joints are implanted in Israel. The operations have a high success rate and liberate many victims of joint disease from physical limitations and pain. On Tuesday, doctors who specialize in joint diseases will answer questions of those who call *2505. The voluntary organization Tze'adim is organizing a symposium on the subject at the Air Force House in Herzliya between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday.