There has never been such an accelerated discovery of new technologies as during the past century; even the Renaissance pales in comparison. In addition, the dissemination of these technologies, facilitated by the developing transportation and communication systems, has resulted in innovation becoming rapidly pervasive on a global scale. This is a self-accelerating process: As new concepts and ideas are quickly disseminated throughout the world, researchers anywhere have immediate access to the information that will rapidly drive their research to the next discovery. Amid this whirlwind of activity, the surgeon is being asked to provide careful and thoughtful clinical practice—to stay up to date and bring the latest technology to bear, while ensuring rigorous evaluation and resisting the temptation to jump on the bandwagon of the latest new discovery. This dichotomy will continue: rapid acceptance and application versus prolonged stringent evaluation. The following is an attempt to clarify the future trends so the practicing surgeon can adapt to change, and navigate between these two opposite poles.
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