Comprehensive care for complex injuries

The Military Medicine Program at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus offers surgical services, integrated care and meaningful connections for service members, veterans and families. At Ohio State, some of America’s leading reconstructive surgeons, military specialists and rehabilitation experts work together to deliver life-changing outcomes for injured troops.

Our reconstructive surgeons treat complicated combat injuries from head to toe. Our team includes peripheral nerve surgeons, microsurgeons, neuroplastic surgeons, orthoplastic surgeons, rehabilitation experts and other multidisciplinary specialists.

Using the latest technologies, surgical techniques and procedures, our surgeons rewire nerves, relieve pain, and rebuild and restore what’s been lost as a result of trauma. We help severely injured patients improve strength and function, and recover lost skills — from picking up a pen, to learning to walk or run, and enjoy life again.

Why military medicine matters

Modern warfare and extended conflicts present new challenges for today’s troops. From readiness operations to active engagement, they face added risks posed by unconventional weaponry such as roadside car bombs and other IEDs (improvised explosive devices). Improved field medicine and medical advances can deliver lifesaving care for injured troops. However, survivors often face uniquely debilitating wounds that can require a lifetime of care.

Troops may suffer limb loss and shattered bones, damaged muscles or nerves and loss of skin and soft tissues on the shoulders, arms, legs and other parts of the body. They may have partial or full paralysis or relentless nerve pain. Whatever the injury, Ohio State’s military medicine program brings together the best doctors, treatments, research and technology to help.

Ohio State’s Military Medicine Program goals include:

  • Enhancing the capabilities and quality of life of our military service members
  • Fostering dedicated multispecialty research and collaboration
  • Improving the efficiency of care through an integrated, multidisciplinary approach  
  • Increasing the range and quality of care available to injured service members
  • Optimizing communication with the patient others involved in their care 
  • Providing camaraderie and a community space for military patients, families and care providers

Specialized military reconstructive services and care

Due to the complexity of battlefront injuries and care needs, military reconstructive care spans specialties and subspecialties. Ohio State’s leadership team includes academic, research and clinical care leaders. Surgeons perform leading-edge procedures for conditions within these and other areas: 

  • Nerve repair, amputation and orthopedic procedures —  Ohio State nerve specialists and orthoplastic surgeons offer novel techniques to repair and reroute nerves. Their work helps to prevent or manage phantom nerve pain, improve the use, stability and comfort of artificial limbs, and treat common complications of amputation.
  • Comprehensive wound care and limb preservation and restoration —  Doctors work to prevent amputation and spare as much healthy tissue and function as possible. The foremost goal is to prevent or manage pain, restore lost function and give troops the best-possible quality of life after injury.
  • Hand surgery and therapy — Hand trauma calls for high-level care. Combat wounds can include crushed hands and amputated fingers, tiny bone fractures, shattered muscles and joints, and broken or traumatized nerves. Surgery teams perform microsurgery and super-microsurgery, peripheral nerve repair and nerve transfers, tissue grafts and other advanced reconstruction techniques. Hand care includes specialized hand and upper extremity physical therapy.
  • Head and skull reconstruction after injury or brain surgery — Military injuries can include disfiguring trauma to the face, head and neck. Ohio State’s specialized team includes skilled neurosurgeons and neuroplastic specialists who focus on healing as well as postoperative appearances. Surgeons use advanced 3D technologies to create custom skull implants and facial reconstruction to help restore a more natural appearance after facial trauma.
  • Trauma and burn care —  Multiple traumatic injuries sustained in combat zones require high-level, cross-specialty care. Ohio State’s military team draws on the expertise of leaders who specialize in critical care for acute trauma and burn care evaluation and treatment.

The road back: rehab, recovery and support

Ohio State’s military reconstructive care specialists guide care at every stage and phase of recovery. For especially challenging injuries such as multiple traumatic wounds, amputation and post-traumatic stress, doctors may recommend support groups or personalized counseling.

Post-surgical recovery also requires one-to-one physical and occupational therapy, and other rehabilitative care customized to individual care needs, such as:

Our physician leaders

Other specialists

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