11 April 2018
New AORecon faculty generation—Pushing the envelope in arthroplasty
Speaking on the sidelines of the Davos Courses 2017, where he was faculty on a course run by AORecon, Abdel said international collaboration is prompting a wider application of minimal standards, and ensuring innovation, wherever it happens, gets noticed.
"There's a generation change in thought leaders within hip and knee arthroplasty. That's clear," said Abdel, an Orthopedic surgery specialist based in Rochester, Minnesota and affiliated with the renowned Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. "There's a lot more cross-pollination, so I've had several foreign fellows with me, French or German, who have gone back to their communities and become thought leaders," Abdel said.
The perfect vehicle
Comparing the present day with the situation in the 1980s and 1990s, Abdel said: "I think in the past you probably had thought leaders in North America, thought leaders in Europe, and in Asia, but now I might spend half my travels outside the US, and half within," he added. "So, it's become much more international, not just who's a thought leader in which country or region, but internationally."
AORecon, an initiative of the AO Foundation to promote and drive excellence in this highly complex and challenging branch of orthopedics, is well positioned to ensure collaboration flourishes, Abdel said.
"AORecon is quite young, and this should be the vehicle to foster these relationships and continue that growth."
Bringing the patient with you
Sam Oussedik, a consultant trauma and orthopedic surgeon with an NHS practice at University College Hospital London, defined the new era as one that places equal important on the physical and psychological aspects of reconstructive surgery. "I don't think we're all that different to the established norms for arthroplasty practice, but we are looking to build on these established norms, mostly in implant design and some of the patient safety aspects that mean arthroplasty is more of a viable option for a broader cross-section of patients."
In talks at three recent arthroplasty conferences, Oussedik has focused on the gulf that can exist between patient expectations and "what can feasibly be delivered with metal and plastic. Probably the emphasis on communication becomes increased, and so rather than focusing so much on operative technique, we are stressing the importance of bringing the patient with you rather than being on opposite sides of it."
Additionally, the entire patient pathway is under examination as opposed to the operative intervention alone. "All the way from first contact and first referral through to the follow-up – this is an area of developing importance, and although the good guys have always done it, we're seeing more and more surgeons adopt this approach," he said.
Pushing the envelope
A third leading light in the field of arthroplasty is Sébastien Lustig, an orthopedic surgeon at the Centre Albert Trillat in Lyon, France. "The previous generation were more conservative, you know, relying on the gold standard of the very basic and fundamental principles to deal with reconstructive surgery," he said. "And so, what's good when the younger generation discuss together, we are not afraid of trying to push the envelope. Also, we've been well trained, and we have an evidence-based approach. So, it's a good combination. It's good to have new blood."
Lustig praised AORecon's approach of encouraging two-way discussion in the lecture halls so participants can get the most out of the courses. "AORecon is a great platform for education and exchange of knowledge at different levels. These guys have the possibility to bring us all together. When we're doing conferences, usually there's not much interaction," he said. "But with AORecon and the Davos Courses you get case discussions, small groups, it's very useful and I like the concept."