A Welcome Message from the Chair of the Consortium

The focus and the work product of this Consortium is dedicated to all members of the Armed Forces, especially our Wounded Warriors. We plan to identify and study the critical challenges facing patients with severe extremity injuries. By combining the expertise and the patients from our military and civilian trauma centers, we hope to change the way we care for injuries and improve the final results for all patients.

Importantly, these research efforts will provide participating civilian trauma patients with the opportunity to “give back” to our service men and women in a meaningful way and recognize the significant sacrifices they make for us. The initial efforts will be targeted to the major challenges by our wounded service members. Combat injuries cause severe fractures with bone loss and associated infections. Methods to improve fracture healing and to prevent or treat related infections are our top priorities.

The initial research projects include:

  • A clinical trial to determine if substitute bone graft and a bone production stimulating hormone is as good as the patient’s own bone graft in repairing fracture defects.
  • A clinical trial to determine if severe fractures heal better and with fewer complications if treated with a nail or a modern external fixation device.
  • The use of advanced technology to better characterize the extremity wound "bioburden" at the time of treatment. This will ultimately help us determine if the addition of antibiotics to the injury site by new delivery methods can decrease the rate of infection.

Other research projects will focus on the treatment of infections that occur around fracture repair implants; the diagnosis and treatment of muscle injury (compartment syndromes); strategies to prevent the development of chronic pain, identification of injury patterns to the leg that do better with an early amputation and the development of improved approaches for rehabilitation that will ensure good long-term outcomes.

The METRC Consortium is indebted to the US Congress and the Department of Defense for the vision to develop the Consortium and for the funding provided to conduct the research.

For the METRC Team,

Michael J. Bosse, MD
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Carolinas Medical Center
Charlotte, NC