Veterans may return from combat duty suffering from an entire range of physical, mental and emotional injuries. According to a new study however, when veterans report muscle and bone injuries, they are significantly much more likely to end their service.
The report found that as many as 60% of veterans, who were not able to return to their career after deployment in Iraq, were unable to do so because they suffered a muscle, bone or joint injury. Approximately 50% of the veterans, who were not able to return to their military duty, had suffered a mental health diagnosis. This seems to indicate that muscle and bone injuries as well as mental health problems, are preventing a number of service members from returning back to active military duty.
The report also seems to suggest that veterans of a lower rank were much more likely to have poor health outcomes, compared to higher ranking service members. Lower rank seems to be an indicator of social economic status.
The researchers based their finding on an analysis of more than 4,000 soldiers between the age of 18 and 22. These soldiers were monitored from the time that they were deployed in Iraq during the surge in 2006, until four years after they returned from duty. According to the research, some of the biggest predictors of inability of the person to return to the military after deployment were musculoskeletal conditions, including fractures and back pain as well as psychological health problems and rank.
Among psychological health conditions, post-traumatic stress disorder seemed to be one of the biggest reasons why vets were not able to continue their military career. Traumatic brain injury was also another major cause of failure to return to duty. These factors seemed to be all related to each other. The researchers found that psychological problems and lower socioeconomic status could actually interfere with a person’s ability to recover from a musculoskeletal injury.