The use of different types of total hip implants in medical centers in Israel was surveyed. Questionnaires were sent to all orthopedic ward directors in Israel requesting information on the number of total hip arthroplasties performed between the years 1984-1993, the types of implants used, and whether attending physicians or residents perform the operations. 22 of 24 orthopedic wards responded but 1 ward was excluded because only the results for 1993 were reported. 5 wards reported more and 16 fewer than 50 operations a year. 15 different types of implants were in use in Israel in that period, and in 5 wards 5 or more types of implants were used. Only 1 of the wards performed more than 50 operations a year. We conclude that the indiscriminate use of multiple technologies in wards performing few operations can lead to the long "learning curves" previously associated with poor results. Orthopedic surgeons should resist the impulse to introduce new implants, thus improving results and lowering expenditure. The need for regulating the introduction of new implants is emphasized.
|Published - 2 Nov 1997