Extremity War Injuries and Disaster Preparedness

Together, Civilian and Military Surgeons Advance the Care of Wounded Warriors

The majority of trauma that occurs in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom is orthopaedic-related, particularly involving the upper and lower extremities. The AAOS supports several research events and programs partnering military orthopaedic surgeons to advance the care of the wounded warrior. Its annual symposia series, “Extremity War Injuries,” has served to define current knowledge regarding management of extremity war injuries for NIH, Congress, the Department of Defense, orthopaedic surgeons, researchers, industry, and other relevant governmental agencies. Beginning in 2006, the AAOS, along with the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA), the Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons (SOMOS), and the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) has sponsored annual symposia and subsequent publications:

The Extremity War Injuries and Disaster Preparedness Project Team (EWIDP) was formed in 2006 to formalize relationships between civilian and military surgeons for collaboration on research and treatment of extremity war and disaster injuries.

Opportunities for Involvement:

The AAOS/OTA Landstuhl Distinguished Visiting Scholars Program provides opportunities for experienced civilian traumatologists to assist the military surgeons at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC). The visiting scholars have the unique opportunity to see the processes by which the military is currently achieving an unprecedented reduction in combat mortality. Visiting scholars are surgeons with at least 10 years experience, who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, and have substantial experience in civilian orthopaedic trauma clinical care. The selection committee (consisting of a tri-service panel of military orthopaedic trauma surgeons, distinguished members of the OTA and AAOS leadership, and a representative from the Orthopaedic service at LRMC) has considered the applicants very carefully to assist in the ongoing process to provide the best possible care to our wounded.

The Orthopaedic Extremity Trauma Research Program (OETRP), part of the United States Army Institute of Surgical Research Medical Research and Materiel Command’s medical research program, funds both peer-reviewed intramural and extramural orthopaedic trauma research. The OETRP is an independent function of the AAOS. In an effort to provide better treatment and improve clinical outcomes from combat casualties, the OETRP is to complement, expand, and broaden the research in orthopaedic trauma that is currently funded by the Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, and industry. 

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