Soldiers in combat suffer massive wounds to bone and tissue quite unlike most injuries that civilian doctors treat. Explosive blasts, rarely encountered in civilian life, cause about 2/3 of the injuries in Iraq. Musculoskeletal injuries account for about 70% of war wounds, and 55% of those are wounds to the arms and legs. Fractures account for 26% of combat injuries.
Thanks to advances in medical care and body and vehicle armor, 90% of these wounded soldiers survive. Their severe injuries, however, may require numerous surgeries for reconstruction. Strategies to improve and speed bone healing could reduce the number of orthopaedic surgeries required and improve patient outcomes for a large percentage of all wounded soldiers.