Orthopaedic surgeons are essentials members of the medical team, providing care to military personnel who sustain musculoskeletal injuries.


Published 11/1/2016
Alan S. Hilibrand, MD

Honoring Our Military Veteran Members

AAOS resources focus on orthopaedic surgeons in the military, veterans' spine impairment
On Nov. 11, Americans will once again observe Veterans Day, honoring the millions of men and women who have served in our country's armed forces throughout the world.

This day is especially important for AAOS members who are veterans, or are currently serving and providing life-saving care to military personnel, their families, veterans, and civilians. Orthopaedic surgeons are essential members of any military medical team, because musculoskeletal injuries are the most common suffered by military personnel.

The following two Wounded in Action books—available free to AAOS members—highlight the tremendous contributions of orthopaedic surgeons in the military, their work on orthopaedic advancements, and the devastating injuries of war.

Wounded in Action: An Art Exhibition of Orthopaedic Advances features art created by military personnel living with orthopaedic injuries, and by orthopaedic surgeons who creatively articulate the experience of treating military personnel and civilians, often during the stress of combat. The art was initially part of a traveling exhibit in 2010–2012. To view the artwork and short stories featured in the book, visit http://www.woundedinactionart.org/

Wounded in Action: Legacy of Heroes includes recollections from orthopaedic surgeons who treated wounded soldiers and civilians during World War II, along with photographs focusing on the surgeons, the injuries and their treatment, and the anguish of war. According to the book's introduction, "The surgeons' actions and their own words—quiet, boisterous, profane, insightful—are their legacy for us today." To read more, visit http://legacyofheroes.aaos.org/about/heroes/index.cfm

To order either or both, visit www.AAOS.org, click on Store, and type the name of the book(s) in the search bar.

PSA draws attention to spine impairment in veterans
Spine injuries and disorders are a leading cause of disability among our military, and many soldiers continue to suffer from back pain long after their military service.

Fortunately, early intervention—from medication to rehabilitation and, in some instances, surgery—can help, as shown in the Academy's current public service announcement (PSA), "It's time to evolve our methods for supporting spine-impaired veterans," created in partnership with the North American Spine Foundation. These PSA posters and postcards were distributed earlier this year to media outlets and outdoor advertising spaces, including billboards and airports, to help spread awareness about back injuries in veterans and the need for appropriate and early treatment and ongoing research to improve care. The ad directs people to OrthoInfo.org/BackVetsUp for more information.

A limited number of posters and postcards are available to order from the AAOS.org Store at http://bit.ly/1X8Fk78 (click on Show All and scroll to the image). Print-ready posters and postcards can be downloaded at newsroom.aaos.org/PSA

Alan S. Hilibrand, MD, chairs the AAOS Communications Cabinet.