Current Trauma Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 183–186 | Cite as

Damage Control Orthopedics

  • D. BielerEmail author
  • A. Franke
  • S. Flohé
Damage Control Beyond The Abdomen (E Degiannis, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Damage Control Beyond the Abdomen


Purpose of Review

This review focuses on the concept of damage control orthopedics (DCO), the staged procedure to prevent the multiple injury patients from additional unnecessary trauma by postponable extensive surgery.

Recent Findings

The principles of damage control orthopedics are staged procedures and, in the first surgical step, the main principles are to stop the bleeding, to restore perfusion with a limited surgical burden, and to stop the contamination. Criteria for damage control orthopedics correspond those for damage control surgery in general, including hypothermia, evidence for persistent minor perfusion, and coagulation disorders.


Skeletal injuries are very common in multiple injury patients. However, most of these injuries have to be treated surgically, which may be time-consuming, cause further blood loss, increase hypothermia, and also results in an inflammatory response due to the surgical trauma. The concept of damage control orthopedics (DCO) is a staged procedure to prevent the multiple injury patients from additional unnecessary trauma by postponable extensive surgery. The article gives an overview about this concept including the indications and the available evidence.


Skeletal injury Orthopedic trauma Damage control Damage control surgery 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Trauma Surgery and Orthopaedics, Reconstructive Surgery, Hand Surgery and Burn MedicineCentral Hospital of the German Armed ForcesKoblenzGermany
  2. 2.Städtisches Klinikum SolingenSolingenGermany

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