Dr. William C. McGarvey gave an interesting talk (Advances in Midfoot Fixation: Technology Review) to wrap up the pre-meeting session on why and how docs should choose their implants.
The list stated was as follows:
- Return to Activity
The lecture went through the evolution of the ‘gold standards’ of midfoot arthrodesis hardware based on the literature starting with cannulated screws vs plantar plating, then dorsal plating, then intramedualary fixation (IO Fix), then locked plating, etc. It was very interesting and an extremely well put together talk citing the chronological history of literature reported for the last 20 plus years. The above list is something all reps should think about prior to walking into their next sales call.
#6 and #7 reasons doctors use what they use…
In my opinion, there are two additional factors that play into in the decision making process of almost all foot and ankle surgeons:
#6 – Consulting agreements
Granted, doctors with consulting agreements are a small percentage of the population, however it can be argued that they influence what their colleagues who respect them choose to use based on there published or unpublished outcomes. When a doctor travels to an Industry course and a prominent surgeon tells them a product works, they will give it a chance.
# 7 – Rep Relationship
Doctors want to work with people they like, they want a rep to knows their shit, and most importantly be reliable. When a case is going on a rep should have everything that the doc asked for and additional products they didn’t ask for, but may need. If a doc knows a rep has his back, he will go with that relationship over cost in my experience.
Implant cost is going to be a constant topic of conversation. The question of implant companies over-charging vs R&D for future technology is going to come to a head sooner rather than later. While I am no where near as smart as Dr. McGarvey, industry influences still play a roll and I am sure he would not disagree. The real question moving forward is for how long?