The 15th WFH International Musculoskeletal Congress: A look back at decades of history

This year marks a major milestone for the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) International Musculoskeletal Congress. The global musculoskeletal (MSK) community has held 15 Congresses around the world since 1989, with the express purpose of bringing orthopedic surgeons, physiatrists, physical therapists, and musculoskeletal specialists together to discuss the evolution of their field—and work together to help support one another and further patient care.

As with many international medical events, this bi-annual Congress began modestly—and gradually grew thanks to the hard work of many dedicated individuals. One person who was instrumental in the launch of the MSK Congress was Marvin S. Gilbert, MD. His home in New York, U.S.A., has the distinction of hosting the first informal MSK meeting.

The following is a timeline of the history of the MSK Congress, from its beginnings in 1977, to its establishment as an official WFH Congress in the 1990s, to the 15th Congress which will be held this May in Seoul, Korea. This year’s Congress also marks first time the event will be held in Asia.

Dr. Gilbert reflected on past MSK Congresses and those yet to come: “May we all continue to contribute to the control and possible elimination of hemophilia, which in the 1960s crippled most all affected persons.”


First informal MSK meeting at the home of Marvin S. Gilbert in Scarsdale, New York, U.S.A.


“State of the Art Committee” created to work within the WFH and address issues related to MSK conditions.


Members of the “State of the Art Committee” become an officially recognized committee within the WFH.


“Musculoskeletal Committee of the World Federation of Hemophilia” is founded.


Attendance of the MSK Congress gradually expands as orthopedic surgeons, physicists, and physical therapists begin attending.


The MSK Congress attracts more and more participants from around the world.


First MSK Congress held in South America, in Cartagena, Colombia.


MSK Congress in Dubai features more than 300 attendees from 59 countries

May 5 to 7, 2017

Seoul, Korea, MSK Congress to be the first Congress held in Asia

We invite you to join us again this year in in Seoul, Korea. The 15th WFH International Musculoskeletal Congress from May 5 to 7, 2017, will feature presentations, posters, and exhibit displays, with a focus on musculoskeletal approaches to hemophilia. The Congress will cover many important topics: the benefits, approaches, concerns, and developments in skill acquisition techniques; the effects, assessments, and surgical considerations related to the kinetic chain; the pathology and prevention of synovitis; and lessons learned by experienced treaters.

To find out more about the MSK Congress, please visit the 15th WFH International Musculoskeletal Congress webpage.

This article is dedicated to the memory of Lily Heijnen.