Hand surgery volume and the US economy: Is there a statistical correlation?

Chad R Gordon, Landon Pryor, Ahmed M. Afifi, James R. Gatherwright, Peter J. Evans, Mark Hendrickson, Steven Bernard, James E. Zins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background:: To the best of our knowledge, there have been no previous studies evaluating the correlation of the US economy and hand surgery volume. Therefore, in light of the current recession, our objective was to study our institution's hand surgery volume over the last 17 years in relation to the nation's economy. Methods:: A retrospective analysis of our institution's hand surgery volume, as represented by our most common procedure (ie, carpal tunnel release), was performed between January 1992 and October 2008. Liposuction and breast augmentation volumes were chosen to serve as cosmetic plastic surgery comparison groups. Pearson correlation statistics were used to estimate the relationship between the surgical volume and the US economy, as represented by the 3 market indices (Dow Jones, NASDAQ, and S&P500). Results:: A combined total of 7884 hand surgery carpal tunnel release (open or endoscopic) patients were identified. There were 1927 (24%) and 5957 (76%) patients within the departments of plastic and orthopedic surgery, respectively. In the plastic surgery department, there was a strong negative (ie, inverse relationship) correlation between hand surgery volume and the economy (P <0.001). In converse, the orthopedic department's hand surgery volume demonstrated a positive (ie, parallel) correlation (P <0.001). The volumes of liposuction and breast augmentation also showed a positive correlation (P <0.001). Conclusion:: To our knowledge, we have demonstrated for the first time an inverse (ie, negative) correlation between hand surgery volumes performed by plastic surgeons in relation to the US economy, as represented by the 3 major market indices. In contrast, orthopedic hand surgery volume and cosmetic surgery show a parallel (ie, positive) correlation. This data suggests that plastic surgeons are increasing their cosmetic surgery-to-reconstructive/hand surgery ratio during strong economic times and vice versa during times of economic slowdown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-474
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Plastic Surgery
Volume65
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Hand
Plastic Surgery
Orthopedics
Lipectomy
Wrist
Reconstructive Surgical Procedures
Breast
Economics

Keywords

  • aesthetic plastic surgery
  • carpal tunnel release
  • cosmetic surgery
  • hand surgery
  • orthopedic surgery
  • stock market trends
  • US economy
  • volume correlation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this

Gordon, C. R., Pryor, L., Afifi, A. M., Gatherwright, J. R., Evans, P. J., Hendrickson, M., ... Zins, J. E. (2010). Hand surgery volume and the US economy: Is there a statistical correlation? Annals of Plastic Surgery, 65(5), 471-474. https://doi.org/10.1097/SAP.0b013e3181d377ac

Hand surgery volume and the US economy : Is there a statistical correlation? / Gordon, Chad R; Pryor, Landon; Afifi, Ahmed M.; Gatherwright, James R.; Evans, Peter J.; Hendrickson, Mark; Bernard, Steven; Zins, James E.

In: Annals of Plastic Surgery, Vol. 65, No. 5, 11.2010, p. 471-474.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gordon, CR, Pryor, L, Afifi, AM, Gatherwright, JR, Evans, PJ, Hendrickson, M, Bernard, S & Zins, JE 2010, 'Hand surgery volume and the US economy: Is there a statistical correlation?', Annals of Plastic Surgery, vol. 65, no. 5, pp. 471-474. https://doi.org/10.1097/SAP.0b013e3181d377ac
Gordon, Chad R ; Pryor, Landon ; Afifi, Ahmed M. ; Gatherwright, James R. ; Evans, Peter J. ; Hendrickson, Mark ; Bernard, Steven ; Zins, James E. / Hand surgery volume and the US economy : Is there a statistical correlation?. In: Annals of Plastic Surgery. 2010 ; Vol. 65, No. 5. pp. 471-474.
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abstract = "Background:: To the best of our knowledge, there have been no previous studies evaluating the correlation of the US economy and hand surgery volume. Therefore, in light of the current recession, our objective was to study our institution's hand surgery volume over the last 17 years in relation to the nation's economy. Methods:: A retrospective analysis of our institution's hand surgery volume, as represented by our most common procedure (ie, carpal tunnel release), was performed between January 1992 and October 2008. Liposuction and breast augmentation volumes were chosen to serve as cosmetic plastic surgery comparison groups. Pearson correlation statistics were used to estimate the relationship between the surgical volume and the US economy, as represented by the 3 market indices (Dow Jones, NASDAQ, and S&P500). Results:: A combined total of 7884 hand surgery carpal tunnel release (open or endoscopic) patients were identified. There were 1927 (24{\%}) and 5957 (76{\%}) patients within the departments of plastic and orthopedic surgery, respectively. In the plastic surgery department, there was a strong negative (ie, inverse relationship) correlation between hand surgery volume and the economy (P <0.001). In converse, the orthopedic department's hand surgery volume demonstrated a positive (ie, parallel) correlation (P <0.001). The volumes of liposuction and breast augmentation also showed a positive correlation (P <0.001). Conclusion:: To our knowledge, we have demonstrated for the first time an inverse (ie, negative) correlation between hand surgery volumes performed by plastic surgeons in relation to the US economy, as represented by the 3 major market indices. In contrast, orthopedic hand surgery volume and cosmetic surgery show a parallel (ie, positive) correlation. This data suggests that plastic surgeons are increasing their cosmetic surgery-to-reconstructive/hand surgery ratio during strong economic times and vice versa during times of economic slowdown.",
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