Published 5/1/2010

AANA to conduct complications study

Surgeon recruiting now underway

“It’s been 25 years since the last comprehensive study on complications associated with arthroscopy,” says Julie A. Dodds, MD, chair of the research committee for the Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA). “What we want to do is build a prospective data base, identify risk factors, and inform surgeons of the results. The primary goals are patient safety and physician education.”

More than 1.5 million arthroscopic surgeries are performed annually, and the AANA study hopes to capture data on at least 10 percent of them. The focus will be on complications associated with knee and shoulder surgeries. Surgeon recruitment is currently underway. Surgeons don’t have to be members of AANA to participate in the study, but they must meet the following criteria:

  • Be board-certified in the United States
  • Perform a minimum of 10 knee and shoulder arthroscopic surgeries per month

“We estimate that as many as 35,000 orthopaedic surgeons meet those eligibility criteria,” said Dr. Dodds.

The 6-month-long study would capture data similar to those found in joint registries. Patient demographics, type of surgery, and complications occurring within the first 6 weeks after surgery would be recorded.

“We’re looking at infections, venous thromboembolic events, anesthesia, and implant failures, among others,” said Dr. Dodds. “We’re also hoping to capture information on complications associated with patient position during surgery.”

The data are being collected by an independent research firm. Data collection is scheduled to begin during the third quarter of 2010. Orthopaedic surgeons who are interested in participating in the survey and meet the eligibility requirements can register at www.zoomerang.com or contact Dr. Dodds at julie.dodds@ht.msu.edu