The 2018 AAHKS Spring Meeting: A Firsthand Report

by Louis B. Jones, MD


The 2018 AAHKS Spring Meeting was an unequivocal success. In its third year, the meeting brought together residents, fellows, practicing surgeons, and many of the thought leaders in arthroplasty for two days of education and discussion in the visually stunning setting of the bayfront InterContinental Hotel in Miami.

The weekend consisted of a series of six symposia alternating with case-based breakout sessions. The breakout sessions provided a unique environment for attendees to ask questions, share ideas and discuss subtleties and shortcomings in the literature with each other and the table instructors. The symposia were focused on highly relevant and evolving topics within arthroplasty. These included the treatment of femoral neck fractures, periprosthetic joint infections, health policy and approaches to establishing and maintaining an arthroplasty practice.

Two additional topics deserve special attention. A symposium on management of the bariatric patient was given in conjunction with two world-renowned bariatric surgeons, Dr. John Morton and Dr. Raul Rosenthal. They provided insights, current surgical and non-surgical treatment options, post-surgical expectations and timeline considerations specific to arthroplasty surgery. Their message was bariatric surgery should be considered for a large number of obese patients who are otherwise candidates for knee and hip arthroplasty. Gastric sleeve surgery is now the standard of care for the vast majority of patients. There is opportunity to forge new relationships with our bariatric surgery colleagues to improve patient outcomes in what has traditionally been an incredibly high-risk patient population. Their presence and prominence at the Spring Meeting is a testament to the extensive interdisciplinary work undertaken by AAHKS in recent years focused on education and research.

A second focus included the complex and poorly understood relationship between spinal alignment and hip biomechanics. This topic has moved to the forefront of modern hip research efforts. Recent studies have presented results that challenge longstanding dogma on cup position and surgical techniques. The symposia addressing this, “The Spino-Pelvic Relationship,” was both timely and incredibly well-received by those in attendance. The speakers presented our current understanding of the problem, practical algorithms for managing patients with hip-spine pathology, and they highlighted specific areas for further research. We are only beginning to scratch the surface of our understanding of the spinopelvic relationship. Classically held beliefs on cup position and stem orientation are being disproven. “Patient specific” is a term that has firmly taken hold throughout medicine, and it also holds true for hip arthroplasty. Gaining a better appreciation of each patient’s spinopelvic dynamic and static relationship will help arthroplasty surgeons perform “patient specific” cup placement on a more reliable basis.  

Overall, the meeting was well attended and continues to provide a complementary role to the larger and more formal fall meeting. It also provides the attendee with unparalleled access to the most up-to-date information in our field provided by the thought leaders in arthroplasty. I look forward to attending the spring AAHKS meeting next year in New York City taking place May 2-4, 2019.

To get further insight into these topics and current research, we encourage you to attend the upcoming 2018 AAHKS Annual Meeting in Dallas on November 1-4. We will have a special keynote speaker, and an excellent program is currently being put together. We hope to see our current and future members there!