Published 10/1/2013
Jennie McKee

AAOS Bids France “Bienvenue!”

2014 Guest Nation will be honored in New Orleans

The AAOS is delighted to announce that France will be honored as the Guest Nation at the 2014 Annual Meeting in New Orleans. France, the largest country in Western Europe, has a population of approximately 65 million people and a centuries-long history of contributions to culture, the arts, medicine, and much more.

“As the Guest Nation, we have the opportunity to demonstrate the close relationship between American and French orthopaedic surgeons,” said Prof. Charles Court, general secretary of the Société Française de Chirurgie Orthopédique et Traumatologique (SOFCOT).

According to Prof. Court, he and other representatives of the French orthopaedic society—including Prof. Norbert Passuti, SOFCOT president, and Prof. Remi Kohler, president of the Académie d’Orthopédie et Traumatologie (AOT)—are eager to collaborate even more with their American colleagues and plan to encourage AAOS members to attend future SOFCOT annual meetings.

A closer look at SOFCOT
Although the French orthopaedic society’s scientific journal, “La Revue d’Orthopédie,” published its first issue in 1890, the society was not formally established until 1918. After SOFCOT acquired its current name in 1954, internationally renowned surgeons helped expand its ranks and enhance its collaborations with other orthopaedic organizations around the world.

“One of the main goals of the society is to educate surgeons through our annual meeting and specialty day,” noted Prof. Passuti.

SOFCOT also advocates for orthopaedic surgeons regarding government regulations related to health care and represents orthopaedists in discussions with the French Ministry of Health. The society coordinates many of its activities with the AOT, which is the organization responsible for scientific programming at the SOFCOT annual meeting. SOFCOT publishes content presented during instructional course lectures presented at its annual meeting.

When the society holds its 88th annual meeting in Paris next month, it expects approximately 5,300 attendees, including French surgeons as well as surgeons from other countries.

Orthopaedics in France
In recent history, French orthopaedists have been responsible for a great deal of innovative research related to a variety of orthopaedic conditions, ranging from trochlear dysplasia and patella instability to internal impingement of the shoulder.

In addition, the French have made significant contributions to the advancement of surgical techniques. For example, the Judet brothers were among the early designers of hip prostheses in 1946. The Guepar hinge, which first appeared in1970, was among the first constrained knee arthroplasty designs. Other advancements include the gamma nail, the Cauchoix classification for open fractures, elastic stable intramedullary nailing in pediatric patients, Cotrel-Dubousset instrumentation for the treatment of scoliosis, and reverse shoulder arthroplasty.

Today, approximately 3,800 orthopaedic surgeons practice in France, which equates to 5.8 orthopaedic surgeons per 100,000 people. While 62 percent of France’s orthopaedic surgeons are in private practice, 38 percent practice in public hospitals.

French orthopaedic surgeons face many of the same challenges that confront their American colleagues, including meeting the treatment needs of an aging population.

According to Prof. Kohler, French orthopaedists now perform 150,000 total hip arthroplasty (THA) procedures and 80,000 total knee arthroplasty (TKA) procedures annually. These numbers represent a 6.7 percent increase in THA as well as a 23.5 percent increase in TKA in the last 5 years.

“In France, among those older than age 60, 16 percent have a prosthetic joint,” asserted Prof. Kohler. “The number of patients who require joint replacement is rising, and the need for spine surgery has significantly increased.”

As a result, French orthopaedic surgeons are making the case for the economic value of orthopaedic surgery, as well as maintaining high standards related to quality of care and ensuring patient safety as new orthopaedic implants become available.

“The Ministry of Health wants to increase the rate of 1-day surgery from 30 percent of all surgeries to 40 percent of all surgeries by 2016,” added Prof. Kohler.

The French Total Hip Register
In 2006, SOFCOT launched a THA register with the goal of establishing performance benchmarks for orthopaedic implants being used in France. According to Prof. Court, a substantial number of total hip implants are marketed only in France and thus are not included in “international data collection outside of France.”

“The register enables us to focus on bearing surfaces that are particularly popular in France, such as ceramic-on-ceramic, as well as on popular designs, such as the dual-mobility prosthesis,” said Prof. Court.

The register does not currently measure patient-reported outcomes, noted Prof. Court, although this information may be captured in the future.

“The French Total Hip Register contributes to the international effort initiated by FDA as a part of the International Consortium for Orthopaedic Registries (ICOR) project,” said Prof. Court. “One of the goals of this effort is to standardize data collection, as numerous variables related to implants differ from one country to another. We hope to apply data from one register to another to help address specifically targeted issues.”

Prof. Court added that French registers for total disk replacement and total ankle protheses are currently in development.

About the Guest Nation program
The AAOS Guest Nation Program was inaugurated in 2005 to foster greater recognition and awareness of the contributions made to the practice of orthopaedics by orthopaedic surgeons from around the globe and to enhance the robust international flavor and excitement of the AAOS Annual Meeting. Previous Guest Nation honorees have included Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Thailand, Mexico, Turkey, Japan, and Canada.

Check your Annual Meeting program for special events and activities related to France and the Guest Nation program. During the meeting, be sure to visit the Guest Nation booth located in Lobby G of the Morial Convention Center to greet our French colleagues with a hearty “Bonjour!” (“Hello!”)

Jennie McKee is a staff writer for AAOS Now. She can be reached at mckee@aaos.org

Don’t miss SOFCOT at Annual Meeting
During Annual Meeting, SOFCOT will present 10 special posters that will be on display in Academy Hall BC of the Morial Convention Center throughout Annual Meeting. In addition, members of SOFCOT will conduct three instructional course lectures (ICLs):

  • ICL 122: International Perspective on Improving the 10-year Outcome of Total Knee Arthroplasty: Get It Right the First Time—March 11, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
  • ICL 147: International Perspective on Preventing and Dealing with Complications in Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty—March 11, 1:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
  • ICL 151: International Perspective on the Masquelet Technique for the Treatment of Segmental Defects in Bone—March 11, 1:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

France will be honored at the Opening Ceremony on Wednesday, March 12, at 4 p.m. During that event, Prof. Norbert Passuti, SOFCOT president, will address Annual Meeting attendees.