Extremity War Injuries: Challenges in definitive reconstruction

Andrew N. Pollak, James R. Ficke, Mark R. Bagg, L. Scott Levin, Michael T. Mazurek, J. Tracy Watson, Romney C. Andersen, Sean E. Nork, Roman A. Hayda, Theodore Miclau, John Keeling, Marc Swiontkowski, James Keeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The third annual Extremity War Injuries Symposium was held in January 2008 to review challenges related to definitive management of severe injuries sustained primarily as a result of blast injuries associated with military operations in the Global War on Terror. Specifically, the symposium focused on the management of soft-tissue defects, segmental bone defects, open tibial shaft fractures, and challenges associated with massive periarticular reconstructions. Advances in several components of soft-tissue injury management, such as improvement in the use of free-tissue transfer and enhanced approaches to tissue-engineering, may improve overall care for extremity injuries. Use of distraction osteogenesis for treatment of large bone defects has been simplified by the development of computer-aided distraction protocols. For closed tibial fractures, evidence and consensus support initial splinting for transport and aeromedical evacuation, followed by elective reamed, locked intramedullary nail fixation. Management of open tibial shaft fractures sustained as a result of high-energy combat injuries should include serial debridements every 48 hours until definitive wound closure and stabilization are recommended. A low threshold is recommended for early utilization of fasciotomies in the overall treatment of tibial shaft fractures associated with war injuries. For management of open tibial fractures secondary to blast or high-velocity gunshot injuries, good experiences have been reported with the use of ring fixation for definitive treatment. Treatment options in any given case of massive periarticular defects must consider the specific anatomic and physiologic challenges presented as well as the capabilities of the treating surgeon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-634
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2008


Dive into the research topics of 'Extremity War Injuries: Challenges in definitive reconstruction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this