Professors Pierre Hoffmeyer and Enric Cáceres Palou preview the EFORT congress in Istanbul this June

The 14th Congress of the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (EFORT) takes place this year in Istanbul, from June 5 to 8. It’s a city of growing prominence, with a magnificent history and rapidly developing economy, and the ideal location for a congress dedicated to a particularly dynamic field. Appropriately for such a setting, the programme offers impressive highlights

T he 14th Congress of the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (EFORT) takes place this year in Istanbul, from June 5 to 8. It is the most important scientific event for orthopaedists at European level.
In putting together the programme, EFORT had much to choose from. More than 4,000 abstracts were submitted, with approximately half of these passing the selection process. 600 papers will be presented in lectures and oral presentations, the rest to be presented and discussed in poster sessions. The subjects to be dealt with at this year’s congress go beyond the field of orthopaedics and touch on collaboration with other specialties. “One of the scientific focal points this year is the subject of haemophilia in relation to orthopaedic-surgical and traumatological issues,“ says the Chairman of the EFORT Scientific Committee, Professor Dr Enric Cáceres (Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron, Barcelona). Professor Cáceres says another highlight of the Congress, an issue encountered often in daily practice, will be the important area of treatment of infected fractures. “Infection and the question of how to avoid it is of great significance for every orthopaedic surgeon, regardless of his or her specific specialisation,“ says EFORT President Professor Dr Pierre Hoffmeyer (Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève). Professor Hoffmeyer also draws attention to lectures on the latest developments in hip and knee replacement: “The courses in which we deal with these subjects are practically booked out.“ A number of lectures will also be given by renowned international experts on injuries to the spine. Professor Hoffmeyer says a focus on paediatrics is also planned, dealing with the treatment of femur fractures and malignant bone tumours in children.

Evidence-based medicine
Another area of special emphasis will be evidence-based medicine in orthopaedics. This is of great interest in that the approach used in other specialisations, in which clinical conclusions are derived primarily from randomised controlled drug studies, cannot be applied directly to orthopaedics. One of the sessions will deal with metatarsalgia. Another session will focus on the standard treatment of spinal metastases. In the course of the conference, sessions will also be held to help those preparing for the EBOT Examination, set by the European Board of Orthopaedics and Traumatology.
In general, much attention will be paid to the subject of further education and advanced training. Professor Hoffmeyer: “We know that participants particularly appreciate presentations in the form of courses and so have put special emphasis on this aspect of the Congress. Sessions involving discussions on especially difficult cases also belong in this area.“
With the newly introduced ’Interactive Experts Exchange’ sessions, participants are also given the opportunity to exchange experiences with renowned experts. Plenary sessions will also take up areas that are less often addressed. For instance, spinal surgery specialist Professor Dr Jean Dubousset will offer his reflections on balance and posture and their impact on his view of the treatment of various orthopaedic diseases.
As guest societies, this year the Latin American SLAOT (Federation of Latin American Societies) and the Brazilian SBOT (Brazilian Society of Traumatology and Orthopaedics), holding their own sessions, will augment the EFORT Congress. The location on the border between Europe and Asia is also reflected.
“We have seen a steadily growing interest from Asian colleagues in our congress with 600 participants from Japan, China and other east Asian countries in 2010,“ says Professor Cáceres. “This year there will be significantly more.
“The distinguished Japanese spinal surgeon and pioneer of numerous surgical techniques, Professor Katsuro Tomita from Kanazawa University, will deliver a lecture in one of the plenary sessions. Generally, the EFORT Congress is expected to be well-attended. “The house will be rather full,“ says Professor Hoffmeyer. “We already have twice as many confirmed registrations as last year, and I know from experience many colleagues register only at the last moment. So we may be on the way to a new record in attendance.“  