MOS.gif
Navy Lt. Cmdr. J. Milo Sewards, MD, right, shows Navy Chief Petty Officer Shane O. Chung how to wrap a walking cast for a fractured foot. Dr. Sewards is the staff orthopaedic surgeon for the Seth Michaud Emergency Medical and Dental Facility at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, as part of a 35-man team providing medical services to service members supporting the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa mission. Photo by D. Michael Ross;
Courtesy of DIVDS

AAOS Now

Published 2/1/2011
|
CDR John-Paul H. Rue, MD

SOMOS leads way in wartime and disaster response

The Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons (SOMOS) represents a broad spectrum of active duty, retired, and reserve military orthopaedic surgeons. SOMOS members take the lead in many fields of orthopaedic surgery, positively affecting lives and improving patient care in wartime situations in Iraq and Afghanistan, in disaster areas such as Haiti, and in austere environments across the globe. Overseeing the care of wounded military is the primary responsibility of most of our membership.

SOMOS is the leading provider of educational programs and resources for military orthopaedic surgeons, specializing in wartime trauma and extremity care and disaster response. In collaboration with the AAOS and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA), SOMOS organized the first Extremity War Injury Symposium. This annual symposium has been one of the most heavily attended and best received symposia at the AAOS Annual Meeting.

SOMOS is also a key member of the AAOS Extremity War Injuries and Disaster Preparedness Team (EWIDP), which formalizes relationships between military and civilian surgeons. SOMOS members coordinate a visiting physician program with overseas military bases overseas that need volunteer trauma surgeons.

SOMOS members were among the first to address the disaster in Haiti. Many SOMOS members participated in military disaster relief operations, and several retired and reserve members assisted in nonmilitary relief operations. The existing relationships between military and civilian orthopaedic surgeons and collaboration between SOMOS, OTA, and AAOS were a major contributing factor to the overall success of the relief missions in Haiti.

MOS.gif
Navy Lt. Cmdr. J. Milo Sewards, MD, right, shows Navy Chief Petty Officer Shane O. Chung how to wrap a walking cast for a fractured foot. Dr. Sewards is the staff orthopaedic surgeon for the Seth Michaud Emergency Medical and Dental Facility at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, as part of a 35-man team providing medical services to service members supporting the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa mission. Photo by D. Michael Ross;
Courtesy of DIVDS
CDR John-Paul H. Rue, MD Dr. Rue serves at the department of orthopaedic surgery, U. S. Naval Academy Naval Health Clinic, in Annapolis, Md. He is the SOMOS representative to the AAOS Board of Specialty Societies Communications Committee.

The SOMOS Research Collaborative recently submitted its first collaborative competitive grant. The “Innovative Methods to Preserve Articular Cartilage after Trauma (IMPACT)” is a prospective randomized clinical trial comparing three common treatments for chondral defects in the knee. Nine SOMOS member centers are participating, making this the largest military collaborative ever undertaken. Research findings by SOMOS members have already led to many advances in the care of high-energy injuries.

Disaster preparedness
Most civilian orthopaedic surgeons will go through their career without facing the need to manage more than one level-one trauma situation at a time, and never face a natural or man-made disaster. But recent events like the Haiti earthquake underscore the need for orthopaedic surgeons to have some degree of disaster preparedness training and access to the tools and resources necessary to respond to similar situations.

As the recognized expert in the care of disaster orthopaedics in an austere environment, SOMOS, in collaboration with Stryker Orthopaedics and DT MedSurg, LLC, is launching a new initiative—the Orthopaedic Disaster Preparedness and Trauma Care Toolbox.

The goal of the Toolbox is to drive awareness of the need for disaster preparedness, to provide basic educational tools for the orthopaedic community, and to credential and prepare orthopaedic surgeons.

Today, the role of SOMOS is more important than ever. Current conflicts in the Middle East and around the world have significantly increased the challenges for SOMOS. To find out more about SOMOS educational programs, visit www.somos.org