Lt. Col. Tim Karcher leaves a physical therapy session, Nov. 6, at the Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio and heads to the Fisher House, where the former commander of the 2nd Battalion - 5th Cavalry Regiment is recovering.
Courtesy of Heather Graham


Published 12/1/2009
Erin Lynn Ransford

EWI V to examine challenges facing soldiers after injury

Ongoing series highlights progress in treatment, disaster preparedness

Some of the most significant issues confronting a trauma patient after injury include infection, loss of function, and the possibility of amputation. Next month, civilian traumatologists and orthopaedic military surgeons will collaborate to address these and other issues that present barriers to return of function and duty.

The Extremity War Injuries V: Barriers to Return of Function and Duty (EWI V) research symposium, co-sponsored by the AAOS, the Orthopaedic Trauma Association, the Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons, and the Orthopaedic Research Society, will take place January 27-29, 2010, in Washington, D.C.

Sessions will investigate management and diagnosis of chronic infection; perceived performance differences in limb salvage versus amputation in the lower extremity; and enhancing function in severe upper extremity trauma. Program status reports will highlight research initiatives funded by the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine and the Orthopaedic Extremity Trauma Research Program.

In a continuation and expansion of issues discussed during the 2009 symposium, EWI V will feature a session on partnered disaster preparedness. The session will examine military and civilian response to disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and aim to develop strategies for further collaboration.

Interest from civilian traumatologists, military surgeons, and Congress in maintaining education via joint-effort symposia and related EWI projects continues to be strong. The Academy has made important contributions; the Extremity War Injuries and Disaster Preparedness (EWIDP) workgroup, for example, has promoted congressional dialogue on the need for increased Department of Defense research funds for treating war-related extremity injuries.

The EWI V symposium, cochaired by Col. James R. Ficke, MD, and Michael Bosse, MD, boasts an extensive list of talented and dedicated military and civilian faculty. Among them was to be Cmdr. Michael T. Mazurek, MD. An EWI symposia series participant since its inception in 2006, Cmdr. Mazurek recently succumbed to injuries sustained in a bicycle accident.

“He was a superb orthopaedic surgeon whose clinical acumen and professionalism were models for us all,” remembers Capt. Dana C. Covey, MD, USN, another EWI presenter. “He was an outstanding naval officer whose concern for the welfare of shipmates, both junior and senior, was always uppermost.”

For more information on the Extremity War Injuries symposia series and the EWIDP, visit

Erin Lynn Ransford is manager of research development in the AAOS office of government relations. She can be reached at