The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 5, 1003 - 1007.e3

Current Practice Patterns of Fellowship-Trained Arthroplasty Surgeons: Has the Influence of Fellowship Training Been Undervalued?

Moss, Lewis et al.
Hip Knee

Background

As the clinical and financial environments of total joint arthroplasty (TJA) have evolved over the last several decades so has the role of the surgeon in providing this care to patients. Our objective was to examine current practices and influential factors among fellowship-trained arthroplasty surgeons.

Methods

An electronic survey was sent to all surgeons who had completed one of the three high-volume adult reconstruction fellowships from the years 2007-2016. The survey consisted of 34 questions regarding current practice characteristics, case volumes for primary and revision total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA), use of advanced technologies, choice of surgical approach and implant design, factors influencing their choices, and their involvement in implant selection and contract negotiations.

Results

Questionnaires were sent to 53 surgeons; 52 were completed. Sixty percent of respondents performed at least 100 TKAs and 84% performed at least 50 THAs annually. Ninety-four percent use a single company’s implant for more than 90% of primary TKA and THA. Fellowship or residency experience was the most significant influence on TKA and THA implant selection for 62% and 45% of surgeons, respectively, while contracts of their current institution were the primary influence for 17% and 12%, respectively. Fifty-five percent of surgeons used some advanced technology of which 16% said this influenced their implant choice. Eighty-six percent perform the majority of cases at centers performing at least 200 TJAs per year, and 39% participate in implant contract negotiations.

Conclusion

Despite changes in the economic environment of TJA, this study demonstrates that experience with a specific implant during training, particularly fellowship, is the most influential factor for implant selection among fellowship-trained arthroplasty surgeons.

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