Impact of Traumatic Lower Extremity Injuries beyond Acute Care: Movement-Based Considerations for Resultant Longer Term Secondary Health Conditions

Courtney M. Butowicz, Christopher L. Dearth, Brad D. Hendershot*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Significance: Advances in field-based trauma care, surgical techniques, and protective equipment have collectively facilitated the survival of a historically large number of service members (SMs) following combat trauma, although many sustained significant composite tissue injuries to the extremities, including limb loss (LL) and limb salvage (LS). Beyond the acute surgical and rehabilitative efforts that focus primarily on wound care and restoring mobility, traumatic LL and LS are associated with several debilitating longer term secondary health conditions (e.g., low back pain [LBP], osteoarthritis [OA], and cardiovascular disease [CVD]) that can adversely impact physical function and quality of life. Recent Advances: Despite recent advancements in prosthetic and orthotic devices, altered movement and mechanical loading patterns have been identified among persons with LL and salvage, which are purported risk factors for the development of longer term secondary musculoskeletal conditions and may limit functional outcomes and/or concomitantly impact cardiovascular health. Critical Issues: The increased prevalence of and risk for LBP, OA, and CVD among the relatively young cohort of SMs with LL and LS significantly impact physiological and psychological well-being, particularly over the next several decades of their lives. Future Directions: Longitudinal studies are needed to characterize the onset, progression, and recurrence of health conditions secondary to LL and salvage. While not a focus of the current review, detailed characterization of physiological biomarkers throughout the rehabilitation process may provide additional insight into the current understanding of disease processes of the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-278
Number of pages10
JournalAdvances in Wound Care
Volume6
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Amputation
  • biomechanics
  • cardiovascular disease
  • limb salvage
  • low back pain
  • osteoarthritis

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