The need for national joint registries

The need for national joint registries

In a supplement on December 21, 2011 Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, a gathering of joint registries from around the world concluded that the importance of joint registries in finding early differences between various implants is extremely helpful.  Concerns over the last year regarding metal-on-metal total hip replacements and hip resurfacings arose mainly from results of joint registries in Australia and England.  These registries were able to differentiate differences in outcome much sooner than individual authors, case reports, or studies would have been able to accomplish.  Unfortunately, in the United States, we do not have a joint registry which tracks the outcomes of various implants.  There are a variety of reasons why this has not happened, a lot of which have to do with the medicolegal environment of our society.  Efforts are under way to establish a joint registry here in the United States so that individual hospitals and surgeons could track their outcomes and compare them to other hospitals and other surgeons.  This will be a great step forward for patients, surgeons, device manufacturers, among others. 

We at Valley Medical Center have maintained a joint registry of our hip and knee patients, assessing outcomes, comparing these to national standards and reporting on these on a yearly basis.  So, individuals in the market for a joint replacement can shop and compare outcomes and get a better handle on what is important to consider when contemplating joint replacement surgery. 

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the joint center at Valley Medical Center for more information.

—William P. Barrett, MD

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Valley Medical Center's Marketing and Community Outreach Office


  1. Gordon Sweet

    I am sincerely grateful to Dr. Barrett and the great staff at the Joint Center. My wife had hip replacement on 2/21/2012 using the anterior procedure and I was able to take her home 48 hours post-op. She’s more comfortable and more mobile that she was following the posterior procedure on the other hip. Again, many thanks.
    Gordon Sweet