June 07, 2017
3 min read

A look back at the 18th EFORT Congress in Vienna

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Looking back at the 18th EFORT Congress that ended a few days ago, I have a great feeling because it was well-attended with more than 6,000 congress participants and included excellent educational sessions on all 3 days of the congress.

Per Kjaersgaard-Andersen, MD
Per Kjaersgaard-Andersen

As this is the largest annual European congress to cover educational sessions in all subspecialties within orthopaedics, it is great to notice how the quality of the sessions improves each year, based on how satisfied congress participants said they were with the program. EFORT has found the model that attracts European, as well as non-European orthopaedic surgeons, to its annual congress.

Although I was busy with board meetings and related activities every day of the congress, I had more free hours at this year’s meeting to get around and listen to several educational sessions. As a joint replacement surgeon, I found there were always two or three rooms to select between for instructional lectures, symposia or free-paper sessions. The rooms were always packed.

Most impressive to me was the full-day Advanced Course in Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement held on Thursday, 1 June. More than 1,300 physicians and others attended this great event, where leading knee and hip replacement surgeons from Europe gave excellent lectures on the treatment of periprosthetic joint infections, periprosthetic fractures, massive bone loss and how to handle the challenges of surgery. The full-day advanced course has been established as a successful event that is repeated each year and will be a mainstay of future EFORT Congresses.

Sports, orthopaedic practice

The main theme of the 18th EFORT Congress was sport activities and orthopaedic practice. In keeping with that theme, Philippe Neyret, MD, of Lyon, France, who is the next second-vice president of EFORT, chaired a session on return to sport after surgery for degenerative knee disease. It was impressive to learn several patients do have a high level of sports activities after knee replacement and other knee joint surgeries. This is clearly a good message for the increased number of patients who will need knee surgery to treat degenerative knee lesions in the future.

Sessions on infections after surgery always gain attention and attendance at the EFORT Congresses. This was no exception in Vienna, where more infection sessions were planned than usual. Among those, the sessions of note were ones on how to avoid both preoperative and postoperative infections. These sessions guided surgeons on the ways to identify patients at risk for infection and detailed careful conditions to minimize the risk of postoperative infection.


Hip fractures in focus

Among my highlights of the Congress are the trauma session on proximal femoral fractures that was followed by an Interactive Expert Exchange on fixation and replacement options in femoral intracapsular fractures. As so many hip fractures are treated worldwide every day, this session gave excellent views into the selection of treatment for the right patients and had an emphasis on benefits and risks. In a Guest Commentary in an issue of Orthopedics Today Europe later this year, Cecilia Rogmark, MD, PhD, of Sweden will give more details on this situation.

Once again, several European orthopaedic subspecialty societies worked with the EFORT Scientific Team to organize educational sessions within their areas of expertise. This year, the European Society for Surgery of the Shoulder and Elbow, organized a great 3.5-hour session on bone defects of the shoulder and trauma of the elbow. Education on a high level was delivered — both on basic aspects, as well as specialized areas of expert treatment strategies.

Finally, in two sessions held Friday, 2 June, the best free papers within trauma and general orthopaedics were presented for a total of 12 excellent papers. Following the presentations, those in the auditorium voted for the best papers so the three most popular papers in each session were awarded prizes. This session format is here to stay, and I hope there is even greater attendance next year.

We are now 49 weeks away from the 19th EFORT Congress, which will be held in Barcelona from Wednesday, 30 May to Friday, 1 June 2018. Please plan and prepare your free papers submissions now so they will be ready when abstract submission opens in early autumn. See you next year in Barcelona.

Disclosure: Kjaersgaard-Andersen reports no relevant financial disclosures.