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Trauma - War Injuries and Orthopaedics

Subspecialty Theme of the Month, November 2011

Canada is a nation with a long standing tradition of sending citizens abroad to deal with global issues and conflict. Canada currently has citizens in Afghanistan, providing not only military aid, but medical aid as well. Three of the four articles included in this month's Subspecialty Theme of the Month series – reprinted from the Fall 2009 issue of the COA Bulletin – are based on presentations at the 2009 Canadian Orthopedic Association Annual Meeting in Whistler, British Columbia, where I had the honour and pleasure of acting as moderator for the “War Injuries” symposium.

Master Corporal Paul Franklin gives a compelling account of the battlefield injury he sustained while serving as a field medic with the Canadian Armed Forces.

Dr. Robert Stiegelmar describes the working conditions that a Canadian Military Orthopaedic Surgeon would experience while working in a war zone as harsh, yet deeply appreciated.

Dr. Jacqueline Herbert presents the challenges of rehabilitating injured soldiers upon their return home, which emphasizes the difficulty in recovering from war injuries.

Drs. Mike McKee and Sean Comstock share their personal perspectives on the differences between civilian practice and managing patients in a war zone.

John Cinats, MD, FRCSC
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada