2018 Annual Meeting Highlights


The following is an account of the 2018 AAHKS Annual Meeting as reported by the AAHKS Patient and Public Relations Committee.

“The Most Important Meeting
on Adult Reconstruction in the World”

The American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS) had a very successful and productive Annual Meeting at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas from November 1-4, 2018 with 3,500 people in attendance. The goal of the Annual Meeting is for surgeons to learn about the latest research and techniques in adult reconstruction (total joint replacement) and bring actionable insights back to their practices. The size and scope of the 2018 AAHKS Annual Meeting continued to trend upward with an 11% growth in attendance compared to 2017. Representatives of the British Hip Society and Italian Hip Society participated as the 2018 Guest Societies and co-hosted the popular International Reception that brings together member surgeons from around the world.

Several special courses and events were held during the meeting to include a session on the Business of Total Joint Replacement. The Young Arthroplasty Group is composed of surgeons who are new to practice, and AAHKS held an educational program with networking reception for more than 80 young surgeons. The newly-formed Women in Arthroplasty Committee held a lunch program that drew over 40 surgeons and was considered a success to encourage and support women in the field of arthroplasty.

Attendees were treated to a lively conversation between George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States, and Matthew P. Abdel, MD, Program Chair. This “fireside chat” covered everything from President Bush’s family, to his time in office, to his current painting hobby. The conversation provided an intimate glimpse at the former President’s life before, during and after his time in the White House. He shared observations with the current state of politics and an optimistic outlook for the United States. Attendees walked away with pearls of wisdom about leadership and civic engagements. President Bush also thanked the audience for their role as healers before ending the memorable Keynote Session.

Gerard “Jerry” A. Engh, MD was selected for the 2018 AAHKS Humanitarian Award. Dr. Engh founded Operation Walk Virginia in 2006, which has provided hip and knee replacements to the underserved in Nicaragua, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama and Boliva. Dr. Engh routinely brought along guest surgeons to his mission trips, and many have since gone on to establish their own chapters and successful Operation Walk missions. Part of Dr. Engh’s vision is to bring doctors from the host countries to the United States to learn by observing the surgical techniques involved in knee and hip replacement. The doctors will then be able to take these skills back to their own country – perpetuating the help for years to come. To learn more about Operation Walk and how you can contribute please visit http://www.operationwalk.org.

A symposium on management of the bariatric patient was given in conjunction with two world renowned bariatric surgeons: John Morton, MD and Raul Rosenthal, MD. They provided insights, current surgical and non-surgical treatment options, post-surgical expectations, and timeline considerations specific to arthroplasty surgery. Inviting them to present in the General Session is a testament to the extensive interdisciplinary work undertaken by AAHKS in recent years focused on education and research. The goals of our organization are to provide the best care for all of our patients and ensure a multidisciplinary approach is utilized when needed in the interests of assuring the most optimal outcomes of hip and knee replacement surgeries.

This meeting is an important forum for surgeons to present research that improves the care they provide to patients and advances the technology of our field. This year was no exception. A recent study conducted at Rush University was presented by Charles Hannon, MD. The study found that patients don’t need a large opioid prescription after joint replacement. Other research presented from a multi-center study found encouraging results with low rates of dislocation and low reoperation rate in revision hip replacement done using new technology with a dual mobility bearing. Important research was also presented on how to best prevent infection in joint replacement with a study presenting evidence that one dose of antibiotic before surgery may be as effective as antibiotics given both before and after surgery as is the current routine.

This Meeting was another success, and attendees were provided with take-home points to implement within their practices and aid in taking the best care of their patients.

AAHKS President, Craig J. Della Valle, MD, called the AAHKS Annual Meeting “the most important meeting on adult reconstruction in the world.” In the end, this meeting is focused on how surgeons and their teams can take better care of patients.

We invite you take a closer look at the 2018 AAHKS Annual Meeting: