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Wimbledon Clinics

Practice Makes Perfect For Hip Replacement Surgeons

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A recent study conducted by the University in Toronto in Canada has revealed that patients whose surgeons carry out three or more total hip replacements (THRs) monthly, or 35 yearly, have fewer complications. The figures are considered important since total hip replacement is known to be among the most successful, cheap and safe methods for reducing pain and restoring function, despite possible complications.

Researchers assessed the health records of 37,881 patients who suffered from osteoarthritis. They were from the province of Ontario and had all undergone THR surgery between 2002 and 2009. Data on complications such as blood clots, death within 90 days of the surgery and infection was gathered and the demographic characteristics of the patients, such as age, other health conditions and socioeconomic status were also taken into account.

After compiling the data, the scientists matched patients, with or without complications, to their respective surgeons. They also took into account the total number of replacements performed by the doctors.

The researchers calculated that individuals treated by doctors who perform more than 35 THR surgeries yearly had a 30% lower rate of early dislocations or revisions. Moreover, people whose surgery was performed by more experienced doctors had a lower overall risk of dislocation or future revision.

This positive volume-outcome surgery correlation is not limited to hip surgeons. Previous research has indicated that although joint-replacement complications vary across different hospitals, those with higher volumes of performed surgeries tend to have fewer complications.

Higher volumes are usually related to better outcomes, according to lead researcher of the study Bheeshma Ravi, a resident physician at the University of Toronto. This makes sense since the more you do something, the better you are likely to become at it, Ravi added.