Orthopedics Today celebrates its 40th year of publication in 2020. With its vision and mission, Orthopedics Today continues to report on the incredible advancements that have led to the comprehensive musculoskeletal care available today.
Advances in care are frequently in parallel with innovative technologies that affect patients. The collaborative efforts of surgeons, scientists, industry, governmental officials and innovators have fueled the continued search for ideal treatments and pushed the wave of technology we see today in musculoskeletal care.
Advances in patient care
Among the amazing advances in patient care during the past 40 years are joint arthroplasty and arthroscopy. The number of hip and knee replacements has steadily increased. Similar growth has been seen in shoulder arthroplasty. The advances in implants and materials include longer-lasting implants and better bonding surfaces. Manufacturing technology has allowed for improved geometry and linking of materials. With improved surgical techniques, including minimally invasive approaches, and anesthesia, we can now perform many joint replacement procedures on an outpatient basis in the ASC setting.
With advances in imaging and lighting, orthopedic surgeons can now easily enter major joints and project an image to determine diagnosis and treatment. This advancement of instruments has added to treatment options available today. We can use arthroscopy not only for diagnosis and debridement, but also reconstruction of major ligaments, meniscal repair and cartilage preservation.
The 1970s and 1980s was the era of knee arthroscopy. The 1990s and 2000s were defined by advances in shoulder arthroscopy, including the ability to repair and reconstruct rotator cuff tendons, as well as manage bone loss after instability. Currently, we are experiencing the same surge of innovation in hip arthroscopy. We can now “scope” elbows, wrists and ankles, which was not even a consideration 40 years ago.
A controversial yet powerful paradigm shift was the expansion of ASCs. The non-hospital-based facilities began in the 1970s and slowly expanded against a strong current of criticism and regulatory challenges. With innovation and a pioneering spirit, as well as advances in anesthesia, nursing and surgical procedures, many extensive orthopedic procedures are now performed in ASCs.
Another nonsurgical subspecialty that has dramatically affected orthopedics for the past 40 years is radiology. Digital radiographs are a core part of orthopedics. The same can be said for MRI, which has undergone remarkable advances to help us understand not only the geometry and structure of tissue, but also the pathology and physiology that affects our decision-making process.
Life and living
Orthopedics focuses on life and living. Whether an athlete wants to return to sport or a worker wants to return to gainful employment, we will continue to seek answers and solutions to provide the best possible musculoskeletal care. As such, Healio and Orthopedics Today will continue to provide its original news reporting, valuable information and education for orthopedic surgeons.
Congratulations for 40 years of publication!
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Anthony A. Romeo, MD, is the Chief Medical Editor of Orthopedics Today. He can be reached at Orthopedics Today, 6900 Grove Road, Thorofare, NJ 08086; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclosure: Romeo reports he receives royalties, is on the speakers bureau, is a consultant and does contracted research for Arthrex; receives institutional grants from MLB; and receives institutional research support from Arthrex, Ossur, Smith & Nephew, ConMed Linvatec, Athletico and Wright Medical.