Evolution of orthopaedic rehabilitation care

J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2012:20 Suppl 1:S80-3. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-20-08-S80.


Rehabilitation following surgical reconstruction for combat-related extremity injuries sustained in the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan has been challenging. The goal of rehabilitation is to restore limb function to facilitate the reintegration of patients with these severe injuries into society. The US Department of Defense has developed a network of rehabilitation centers of excellence within the military healthcare system in collaboration with the US Department of Veterans Affairs to optimize outcomes using technologic and systemic advances in prostheses in patients who have undergone limb salvage procedures or amputation. Managing pain during rehabilitation and optimizing function following high bilateral lower extremity amputation remains a clinical challenge. However, continued research is likely to improve outcomes in this severely injured patient population. To that end, two research consortia, the Bridging Advanced Developments for Exceptional Rehabilitation and the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences Research, have recently been created to address identified knowledge gaps.

MeSH terms

  • Amputation, Surgical / trends
  • Artificial Limbs
  • Humans
  • Limb Salvage / rehabilitation
  • Military Personnel
  • Orthopedic Procedures / rehabilitation*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Pain / rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation / trends