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Inaugural meeting of hip surgeons

Media release
April 3 2008.


Inaugural meeting of hip surgeons

Eighty orthopaedic surgeons with a special interest in hip surgery will meet at Te Papa in Wellington tomorrow and Saturday for the inaugural meeting of the New Zealand Hip Society.

International experts from the US and Canada will address the surgeons who will discuss a wide range of topics including total hip replacement and other surgeries for hip disease.

The Hip Society was established last year to advance knowledge in adult hip surgery and to stimulate clinical and basic research into adult hip conditions and the exchange of ideas between New Zealand and overseas orthopaedic surgeons.

Hip surgery is a major component of orthopaedic surgery and includes total hip joint replacement and the management of hip fractures, said Hip Society spokesperson, Professor Geoffrey Horne. More than 42, 000 total hip joint replacements were undertaken in New Zealand between 1999 and 2006. A $70 million funding boost for joint replacements from the Ministry of Health saw the number of hip replacements increase from 4665 per year in 2003 to an anticipated 9300 by July 1 this year.

Hip surgeons are concerned at the predicted burden on the health system generated by the over 60s, who are expected to comprise just under one in three New Zealanders by 2051. As the numbers of elderly and their longevity increases, greater numbers of surgical interventions such as hip and knee replacements will be required and the numbers disabled by arthritis and osteoporosis will significantly increase.

“The good news is that joint replacements change people’s lives,” said Professor Horne. “They enable otherwise healthy older people to remain independent in the community and younger people to remain in productive work.”

The Hip Society is an affiliated society of the NZOA. The NZOA is a professional body of 185 active orthopaedic surgeons.

ENDS

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