Damage Control Orthopaedics: An In-Theater Perspective


Damage control orthopaedics is well described for civilian trauma. However, significant differences exist for combat-related extremity trauma. Military combat casualty care is defined by levels of care. Each level of care has a specific role in the care of the wounded patient. Because of lack of equipment, austere environments, and significant soft tissue wounds, most combat fractures are stabilized with external fixation even in a stable patient, unlike civilian trauma. External fixation allows for rapid stabilization of fractures and easy access to wounds and requires little shelf stock of implants. Unique situations exist in the care of the combat-injured casualty, which include working in an isolated facility, caring for enemy combatants, large soft tissue wounds, and the need to rapidly transport patients out of the theater of operations.. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 19(1):13–17, 2010)

LTC(P) Romney C. Andersen, MD, MAJ Victor A. Ursua, MD, MAJ John M.
Valosen, MD, LTC Scott B. Shawen, MD, Col Jeffrey N. Davila, MD,LTC(P)
Martin F. Baechler, MD, and CDR John J. Keeling, MD