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AAOS recognizes WWII Heroes. (Public Education).

It was a story that begged to be told--how orthopaedic surgeons saved soldiers' lives and limbs during World War II while risking their own. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Rosemont, Illinois, spent 2 1/2 years developing a comprehensive multimedia project, Legacy of Heroes, to tell the tale. Components include a 50-minute documentary film, "Wounded in Action," that features the firsthand accounts of 18 WWII surgeons; Web site (; commemorative book; and traveling exhibit.

AAOS staff writer Carolyn Rogers gives a detailed account of how the association project evolved in the May issue of Forum, published by the Association Forum of Chicagoland. For example, members helped identify more than 120 fellow orthopaedists who had served in WWII and who were wiling to share their stories. Of the 18 people selected to participate in the film, 12 were filmed in the United States, and 6 were filmed on location in Normandy, France, and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, reports Rogers. Her article also notes that the project's comprehensive Web site offers a brief film trailer for "Wounded in Action" as well as the original transcripts of telephone interviews with surgeons whose stories do not appear in either the AAOS book or film.

Part of the untold story is how the WWII experience contributed to significant medical advances. "The sheer numbers of the wounded compelled orthopaedists to attempt bold new surgical techniques, resulting in amazing advances in treatment," notes William W. Tipton, Jr., AAOS executive vice president, in the Forum article. "So many advances occurred. The birth of hand surgery as a science, prosthetics, spine surgery, internal and external fixation, joint replacement, bone fusion, and the use of antibiotics were further developed, to name just a few."

AAOS's Legacy of Heroes received the 2003 Association Programming Achievement Award from the Association Forum of Chicagoland.
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Title Annotation:American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Publication:Association Management
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2003
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