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Erin Ransford

Erin Lynn Ransford, an amateur photographer, works for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons promoting musculoskeletal research and research programs which create collaborations between military and civilian orthopaedic surgeons. She has personally benefited from advancements in orthopaedics that have occurred in wartime. During World War II, orthopaedic surgeons began using pins, rather than casts, to treat fractures. “With the implementation of the intramedullary nail, soldiers could return to activity or duty significantly faster than traditional casting,” says Ransford. After suffering a fracture of her tibia and fibula in 1998, Ransford had a series of surgeries, including two IM nails, to repair her injury. She believes further research is needed to develop advanced techniques to treat blast injuries and major trauma sustained during combat. Due to advances in body armor, more soldiers are surviving explosions but are left with severe extremity injuries, many requiring extensive limb reconstruction or amputation.

Prosthesis: A Plaster Promise

12 x 18 in.


This photograph was taken at the Orthotic and Prosthetic Appliance Laboratory at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where technicians customize prosthetic legs using plaster casts to create a mold of amputated limb stumps. The foot is also cast, ensuring that the prosthetic foot is the same size.