Knee Arthroscopy: How Fast Is Too Fast? How Slow Is Too Slow?

Dr. Marx recently published an article in The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery on finding the “sweet spot” in the duration required to perform an operation – the balance between not taking too long and not rushing. It has been shown that long operating room times are associated with worse outcomes for procedures. However, rushing through an operation is undesirable and unsafe. Rather than aiming for speed, surgeons should strive to exhibit control, efficiency, and precision. A recent study found that surgical time may be more related to case complexity than surgical expertise or efficiency. Teasing apart this relationship is difficult in the case of knee arthroscopies, because cases vary greatly in complexity and therefore in how time consuming they are to perform. Ultimately, it seems as though taking a longer-than-average time to perform an operation is not beneficial to patients, but that speed should be achieved through efficient technique.

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