What was the Number of Musculoskeletal Injuries in the British Armed Forces in 2017?

Between 01 January 2017 and 31 December 2017, personnel in the British Armed Forces suffered from a total of 74,073 musculoskeletal injuries (MKSI).

Naval ServiceArmyRAF
All MSK12,94646,23914,888
Upper Limb3,73111,6434,093
Other Upper Limb153438179
Lower Limb7,07029,0278,071
Knee & Other [1]2,97412,6583,428
Ankle & Foot3,05812,5013,379
Other Lower Limb1,7257,4781,842
Other [2]5,84921,7077,195
Thoracic spine2931,223438
Lumbar spine2,82311,2113,448
Other unspecified3,30312,3803,782
Unspecified Site [3]5141,730721


  1. Other includes MSKI which affect the knee but which are not necessarily part of the joint. For example, tibial plateau disorders.
  2. Other refers to MSKI which are not upper or lower limb. For example, head, back, etc.
  3. Unspecified site refers to MSKI where there may be no specified injury location. For example, osteoporosis.
  4. Totals may not add up due to some personnel having multiple MSK records or may move between services.

MSK codes on the Defence Medical Information Capability Programme (DMICP), a centralised data warehouse of coded information, has a list of 2,364 read codes as authorised by a number of clinicians who are members of the Defence Musculoskeletal Health Advisory Group (DMHAG).


FOI 2018/09084 dated 08 August 2018.


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