Does orthopedic training compromise the outcome in total hip arthroplasty?

J Surg Educ. Jan-Feb 2013;70(1):76-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2012.08.003. Epub 2012 Sep 5.


Background: This study compares the outcomes of total hip arthroplasty surgery performed by a consultant with those performed by supervised and unsupervised orthopedic trainees.

Methods: We reviewed 6 years of patient data from the New Zealand Joint Registry in patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty comparing the outcome measures of revision surgery and Oxford hip score at 6 months with the experience of the primary surgeon.

Results: Over the study period 35,415 patients underwent elective total hip arthroplasty; 30,344 performed by a consultant, 2982 by a supervised trainee and 1067 by an unsupervised trainee. There was an overall revision rate of 0.77 per 100 component years. The revision rate was 0.75 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.68-0.82) for consultants, 0.97 (95% CI, 0.72-1.28) for supervised trainees and 0.70 (95% CI, 0.36-1.22) for unsupervised trainees with no significant differences. There was no significant difference in the reason for revision surgery between the 3 groups.

Conclusions: The mean Oxford hip score was higher for consultants at 40.70 compared with 38.95 and 38.27 for supervised and unsupervised trainees respectively. These results are reassuring and indicate orthopedic training does not adversely compromise arthroplasty patient outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Humans
  • New Zealand
  • Orthopedics / education*
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Postoperative Complications / surgery*
  • Registries
  • Reoperation / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors