Risk factors and failures in the management of limb injuries in combat casualties

  • Antoine GrossetEmail author
  • Georges Pfister
  • Nicolas de l’Escalopier
  • Soryapong Plang
  • Anne-Pauline Russo
  • James-Charles Murison
  • Laurent Mathieu
  • Sylvain Rigal
Original Paper



Treatment of war wounds is based on a sequential surgical strategy, which frequently faces therapeutic failures, which then burden the final functional result. The aim of this study was to identify risk factors of failure of the different treatments to prevent the therapeutic failure.


A monocentric case–control study was done on French war-wounded soldiers treated for an open fracture caused by an invasive war weapon. The primary end point was the treatment failure three months after the injury. The risk factors of failure studied were the traumatic mechanism, the general and local lesional assessment, and the surgery performed.


Between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2016, 57 soldiers were included, with an average follow-up of 3.42 years. On 81 limb segments studied, the most injured segment was the leg (37.0%). A vital or urgent surgery requirement (OR = 1.56; p = 0.02) and bone loss substance (OR = 5.45; CI95% = 1.54–20.09) were risk factors of failure for limb salvage treatment. Improvised explosive device traumatic mechanism (OR = 1.56; p = 0.02) and the persistence of surgical site contamination after two debridement procedures (OR = 1.20; p = 0.04) were risk factors of failure for amputation procedures.


Two main risk factors of treatment failure are highlighted: those in relation to traumatic mechanisms and general lesional assessment and those in relation to surgical site conditions. There is no over risk of failure in relation to surgical procedure and treatment.


War-wound Open fracture Risk factor of failure Combat-related injury 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© SICOT aisbl 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antoine Grosset
    • 1
    Email author
  • Georges Pfister
    • 1
  • Nicolas de l’Escalopier
    • 1
  • Soryapong Plang
    • 1
  • Anne-Pauline Russo
    • 1
  • James-Charles Murison
    • 1
  • Laurent Mathieu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sylvain Rigal
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Orthopedic, Traumatology and Reconstructive SurgeryPERCY Military Teaching HospitalClamartFrance
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryFrench Military Health Service AcademyParisFrance

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