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Extremity war injuries: More research is needed
Date:1/4/2010

ROSEMONT, Ill. The fourth annual Extremity War Injuries Symposium was held in Washington, D.C., last January to bring together military and civilian orthopaedic surgeons, researchers, experts from governmental agencies, and others to discuss challenges faced by U.S. medical personnel working in Iraq and Afghanistan and to discuss ways to synergize resources and improve care for wounded warriors. A paper summarizing the findings from the symposium is published in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS).

Majority of Trauma Is Orthopaedic-Related

The majority of trauma that currently occurs among both military and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan involves the upper and lower extremities, and happens as a result of the detonation of explosive devices. According to paper co-author Andrew N. Pollak, MD, Associate Professor and Head, Division of Orthopaedic Trauma, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, this year's symposium focused on three topics:

  • Challenges in research
  • Host nation care
  • Domestic disaster preparedness

"Our military medical personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan are facing serious challenges on every level," noted Dr. Pollak. "But the most critical need right now is funding for more research, so medical personnel can offer the highest level of care," he said.

"Our goal is to provide our wounded warriors with the best care possible to improve their quality of life. Since orthopaedic injuries result in the largest source of disability cost for the government, investing to improve care should result in less expense for the taxpayers in the long run."

Challenges in Research

There are several ongoing research programs, such as the Orthopaedic Extremity Trauma Research Program (OETRP), a competitive, peer-reviewed research program managed by the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, w
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Contact: Lauren Pearson
pearson@aaos.org
847-384-4031
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Source:Eurekalert

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