New Registry Aimed at Artificial Joint Recalls

The American Joint Replacement Registry was created by the AAOS to help with joint recalls.

For patients that have received joint replacements, the chances of being notified of an artificial joint recall are pretty slim.

However, a new privately-funded recall registry may change all that. The American Joint Replacement Registry is an independent organization created by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The registry is dedicated to collecting and reporting on hip and knee joint replacement procedures. AAOS believes this proposed option is a patient safety best practice.

The goal of a national joint registry is to monitor device performance to allow early recognition of underperforming processes or devices and supporting continued clinical learning.

"In 2009, AAOS has made great strides in bringing the American Joint Replacement Registry to reality. We have now incorporated. And, we currently are in the process of forming project work groups to tackle data, governance and oversight issues." said John Callaghan, MD, first vice president of the AAOS and orthopaedic surgeon at the University of Iowa, in a press release.

According to the AAOS, a national joint registry should include:

-privacy safeguards for patients

-legal protections for device makers and physicians

-a plan to begin capturing data as early as 2010

-infrastructure to capture at least 90 percent of all procedures

In 2006, there were more than 1 million hip and knee replacements performed in the US. Approximately 7.5% were revisions, resulting in 77,000 procedures at a cost of more than $32 billion. A national joint registry may help doctors to more quickly identify poorly performing products and match patient procedures and devices to optimize outcomes. The AJRR may help patients and payers save money and may limit the number of revision (or secondary) surgeries necessary. Based on the projected procedures through 2030, the potential savings could exceed $13 billion over 20 years.

Proposed by the AAOS and related stakeholders, the AJRR proposal calls for an independent, not-for-profit organization, funded by the proposing stakeholders -- orthopaedic surgeons, payers, government agencies, patient groups, hospitals and device manufacturers. The AJRR is estimated to cost $20 to $25 million to initiate.

"We now have a chance to put best practices, already benefiting patients in other countries, to work here in the US. For instance, registries in Sweden, Great Britain, Canada and Australia have seen up to a 10 percent reduction in revision rates. Even with a modest 2 percent decrease in the U.S. revision rate, this proposal would yield a savings of $652 million in one year," said David Lewallen, MD, chair of the AJRR Project Team and orthopaedic surgeon at Mayo Clinic, in a press release.

The news was also featured on a local ABC affiliate station. Watch the video below for more: