Several countries such as Sweden, Australia, and Canada, have a National Joint Registry (NJR). They keep track of results for hip and knee replacements. They use the data to measure long-term results of these implants. This kind of monitoring helps doctors find out quickly about any problems with joint replacements.
The NJR adds up the number of implant failures. It can sort out which implants have the highest failure rate and which are most successful. Information from a national registry can also help doctors find out what risk factors are likely to cause implant failure. A NJR also helps monitor how well each hospital performs in this area of health care.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) has started a pilot joint registry program. It will last 18-months and involves 10 hospitals. About 1,250 patients were started in January 2004. Collecting data will start in April and go for 12 months. By June 2005, the results of this trial run will be known. Then the AAOS Board will decide whether to start a national program.