Plastic surgery challenges in War Wounded II: Regenerative medicine

Ian L. Valerio*, Jennifer M. Sabino, Christopher L. Dearth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: A large volume of service members have sustained complex injuries during Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF). These injuries are complicated by contamination with particulate and foreign materials, have high rates of bacterial and/or fungal infections, are often composite-type defects with massive soft tissue wounds, and usually have multisystem involvement. While traditional treatment modalities remain a mainstay for optimal wound care, traditional reconstruction approaches alone may be inadequate to fully address the scope and magnitude of such massive complex wounds. As a result of these difficult clinical problems, the use of regenerative medicine therapies, such as autologous adipose tissue grafting, stem cell therapies, nerve allografts, and dermal regenerate templates/extracellular matrix scaffolds, is increased as adjuncts to traditional reconstructive measures. Basic and Clinical Science Advances: The beneficial applications of regenerative medicine therapies have been well characterized in both in vitro studies and in vivo animal studies. The use of these regenerative medicine techniques in the treatment of combat casualty injuries has been increasing throughout the recent war conflicts. Clinical Care Relevance: Military medicine has shown positive results when utilizing certain regenerative medicine modalities in treating complex war wounds. As a result, multi-institution clinical trials are underway to further evaluate these observations and reconstruction measures. Conclusion: Successful combat casualty wound care often requires a combination of traditional aspects of the reconstructive ladder/elevator with adoption of various regenerative medicine therapies. Due to the recent OIF/OEF conflicts, a high volume of combat casualties have benefited from adoption of regenerative medicine therapies and increased access to innovative clinical trials. Furthermore, many of these patients have had long-term follow-up to report on clinical outcomes that substantiate current treatment paradigms and concepts within regenerative medicine, reconstructive, and rehabilitation care. These results are applicable to not only combat casualty care but also to nonmilitary patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-419
Number of pages8
JournalAdvances in Wound Care
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • complex wound care
  • limb salvage
  • regenerative medicine,war trauma


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