Diseases and injuries affecting the locomotor system take a large toll among old and young, and due to changing life style and demographics, the impact will increase in years to come. The Decade of bone and joint 2000-2010 is an umbrella initiative to professionals from different specialities, patient organisations, health industry and not least, governments, to mobilise an offensive against the problems. We need to increase awareness among the public, assess the magnitude of problems, identify effective preventive measures and stimulate research. The decade will be launched in the spring of 2000. We should all help to fill it with meaningful activities.