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BACKGROUND: The serious adverse events associated with metal on metal hip replacements have highlighted the importance of improving methods for monitoring surgical implants. The new European Union (EU) device regulation will enforce post-marketing surveillance based on registries among other surveillance tools. Europe has a common regulatory environment, a common market for medical devices, and extensive experience with joint replacement registries. In this context, we elaborate how joint replacement registries, while building on existing structure and data, can better ensure safety and balance risks and benefits. MAIN TEXT: Actions to improve registry-based implant surveillance include: enriching baseline and diversifying outcomes data collection; improving methodology to limit bias; speeding-up failure detection by active real-time monitoring; implementing risk-benefit analysis; coordinating collaboration between registries; and translating knowledge gained from the data into clinical decision-making and public health policy. CONCLUSIONS: The changes proposed here will improve patient safety, enforce the application of the new legal EU requirements, augment evidence, improve clinical decision-making, facilitate value-based health-care delivery, and provide up-to-date guidance for public health.

Original publication




Journal article


Bmc musculoskelet disord

Publication Date





Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip, Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee, Humans, Metal-on-Metal Joint Prostheses, Registries