Artist COL Damian Rispoli, MD, and his son stand alongside his artwork, “Things that We Carry.”


Published 12/1/2011
Michael F. Schafer, MD

Wounded in Action makes its way around the country

Wartime experiences affect not only military personnel and their loved ones, but also the physicians and medical teams that treat them. Organized as a tribute to injured troops and their families, civilians, and the orthopaedic surgeons who care for them, Wounded in Action: An Art Exhibition of Orthopaedic Advancements includes artwork created by orthopaedic surgeons and other artists. Sponsored by the AAOS in partnership with the Orthopaedic Research Society, the Orthopaedic Trauma Association, and the Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons, the exhibit also highlights the many orthopaedic advancements in treating war-related injuries.

Of the original 107 pieces in the Wounded in Action exhibit, 59 are currently on display at the U.S. Army Medical Department Museum (AMEDD) at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, through January 2012. This exhibit was made possible by COL James R. Ficke, MD; CPT Daniel J. Stinner, MD; CPT Chad A. Krueger, MD, and a team of AMEDD staff.

During an opening reception held on Sept. 26, 2011, more than 150 guests, including Texas State Senator Leticia Van de Putte, previewed the exhibit. Created by 50 artists—including 23 who are orthopaedic surgeons—the 59 pieces of art honor the painful, personal, and inspiring stories of those injured in combat. The exhibit includes multimedia pieces created by artists with ties to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, including Brooke Army orthopaedic surgeons who were deployed to treat injured military personnel and civilians. Parents and spouses of military men and women who have been treated at the medical center are also among the artists.

Artist COL Damian Rispoli, MD, and his son stand alongside his artwork, “Things that We Carry.”
Artwork includes a below-the-knee prosthetic, along with charcoal drawings.

San Antonio is the exhibit’s sixth stop since its debut at the AAOS Annual Meeting in 2010 in New Orleans. Wounded in Action traveled to the Rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., to coincide with the Academy’s 2010 National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference (NOLC). From there, the exhibit went to the National Museum of Health and Medicine at Walter Reed in Bethesda, Md., and to the Health Sciences and Human Services Library at the University of Maryland–Baltimore. Earlier this year, Wounded in Action was on display at the Chicago Cultural Center; the exhibit is scheduled to make its way to Evans Army Community Hospital in Fort Carson, Colo., in 2012.

Wounded in Action: An Art Exhibition of Orthopaedic Advancements is an extension of the Academy’s 75th Anniversary Celebration. Artwork, artists’ bios, and a tribute to the troops can be found online at a companion website to the exhibit at

Michael F. Schafer, MD, chairs the AAOS Communications Cabinet.