U.S. Needs National Registry for Joint Replacement Devices: Study

FRIDAY Dec. 3, 2010 -- A standardized U.S. national registry of joint replacement devices would improve patient safety and quality of care, a new study finds.

Researchers examined 80,000 total knee and hip joint replacements and 5,000 anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee reconstruction procedures in Kaiser Permanente's national registries.

During the study period, the registries were used to track eight device recalls and advisories and proved critical in quickly identifying and following up with affected patients.

Using the ACL surgery registry, the researchers pinpointed the three most common reasons for re-operations of ACL reconstruction: meniscus injury, stiffness, and device removal.

"Our findings demonstrate the critical impact of registries and the important role they play in counseling patients, identifying risk factors, tracking implanted devices during recalls and assessing comparative effectiveness of devices," lead author Elizabeth Paxton, director of surgical outcomes and analysis at Kaiser Permanente, said in a Kaiser news release.

She and her colleagues concluded that a registry of the more than 600,000 total knee and hip replacements performed each year in the U.S. could improve patient safety and quality of care and provide a foundation for future research projects that would contribute to better outcomes.

Sweden, Finland, Norway, Australia and Denmark all have national joint replacement device registries, according to the researchers, but the United States does not.

The study appears in the November issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases has more about joint replacement surgery.

Posted: December 2010


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