Carolinas HealthCare System
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Leading Trauma Research

Carolinas Medical Center is the lead enrolling site for METRC

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Carolinas Medical Center is a founding member of the Major Extremity Trauma Research Consortium (METRC), funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. The Consortium was established to address some of the immediate research needs of the military in the acute management and long-term outcomes of severe limb injuries.

Michael Bosse, MD, director of orthopaedic trauma service and orthopaedic clinical research at Carolinas Medical Center, is the METRC co-principal investigator and clinical chair. Carolinas Medical Center is currently enrolling patients in eight of the active studies – focusing on infection prevention and treatment, bone defect reconstruction, and recovery following major limb trauma. Dr. Bosse is the principal investigator on three of these studies.

Establishing Treatment Standards

One of the current studies is testing the effectiveness and implementation of the Trauma Survivors Network, a collaborative care, multi-modal intervention designed to improve acute and post-acute care following major orthopaedic trauma.

This study builds on evidence that outcomes in complex medical conditions improve when “informed, activated” patients interact with “prepared, proactive practice teams.” Carolinas Medical Center serves as an intervention site in the effort to examine the impact of this innovative psychosocial intervention.

The overall goal of METRC is to produce the evidence needed to establish treatment guidelines for the optimal care of the injured service member and, ultimately, to improve the clinical, functional and quality of life outcomes of both service members and civilians who sustain high-energy trauma to the extremities. METRC consists of a network of clinical centers from across the United States, with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health serving as the coordinating center. Carolinas Medical Center is one of 22 core civilian trauma centers, four military treatment centers and 30 associate Level I trauma centers that comprise the research group.

To date, METRC has enrolled more than 1,000 patients into the prospective studies, with Carolinas Medical Center the lead enrolling site. “The opportunity to work with the top trauma centers in the nation and to be associated with the lead military treatment facilities in a project of this magnitude really highlights the capacity and capabilities of Carolinas Medical Center,” Dr. Bosse said. “The project is currently funded with more than $80 million in Department of Defense and National Institutes of Health grants. The Consortium is historic in that orthopaedic surgery has never had so much funding allocated to one group in support of critical clinical research.”