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AAOS President Offers 5-Year Outlook on Device Advancements

As industry and surgeons prepare to descend on San Diego for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ Annual Meeting, we asked AAOS President Gerald R. Williams Jr., M.D., to offer perspective on the prominent areas for technology advancements in the coming years.

Dr. Williams is a shoulder specialist at the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia who also serves as the John M. Fenlin, Jr, MD, Professor of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery at The Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. His five-year outlook touched on common themes mentioned in recent years.

BONEZONE: Where will the greatest change come in orthopaedics in the next five years?

Gerald Williams forwebWilliams: This year, and over the next five years, we will continue to see the creation of new tools, implants and techniques derived from advances in additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, as well as the ongoing integration of computers and robotic systems into surgical practice.

These advances, which include the creation of precision surgical tools; implants, from large joints to custom pins for fingers and toes; and customized, synthetic bone material and scaffolds, have the potential to significantly improve patient care. No skeleton is exactly the same; customizing orthopaedics will lead to more precise treatment strategies, and ultimately improved long-term mobility and patient satisfaction.

I also expect to see new research and discoveries using biologics—most notably, stem cells—to regenerate or repair damaged bone and cartilage. While there is much we still have to learn about the regenerative powers of biologics, they have tremendous potential to improve patient outcomes and function, and to delay or avoid surgery.

Finally, there will be continued discourse regarding the challenges associated with regulating rapidly developing products and integrating patient-specific risk-benefit assessments into both regulation and treatment plans.

     


Surgeon Demographics

AAOS conducts a biennial Orthopaedic Surgeon Census. The figures below are based on the 29,613 orthopaedists on record with AAOS.

How they Practice: 

~58% of respondents are specialists
~25% are general orthopaedic surgeons with specialty interest
~17% are generalists

Top 3 Areas of Practice:

18.8% Sports Medicine
11.5% Total Joint
11.2% Hand

Number of Procedures:

Full-time orthopaedists average 32 procedures per month

 

 

 

 

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