Bearings in hip arthroplasty: Joint Registries vs precision medicine

Mark Pearson, Liam Grover, Janet Lord, Simon Jones, Edward Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
261 Downloads (Pure)


Precision medicine has been adopted in a range of clinical settings where omics data have led to greater characterisation of disease and stratification of patients into sub-categories of phenotypes and pathologies. However, in orthopaedics, precision medicine lags behind other disciplines such as cancer.
Joint registries have now amassed a huge body of data pertaining to implant performance which can be broken down into performance statistics for different material types in different cohorts of patients. The National Joint Registry of England, Wales and Northern Ireland (NJR) is now one of the largest data sets available. Other registries such as those from Sweden and Australia however contain longer follow up. Together these registries can provide a wealth of informative for the orthopaedics community when considering which implant to give to any particular patient.
We aim to explore the benefits of combining multiple large data streams including joint registries, published data on OA pathogeneis and pathology, and data concerning performance of each implant material combination in terms of biocompatibility. We believe that taking into account the wealth of information from each of these streams will provide the most comprehensive overview of implant performance and allow surgeons to make more informed choices about which implant should be used in which patient.
Data from three joint registries were combined with established literature to highlight the heterogeneity of OA disease and the different clinical outcomes following arthroplasty with a range of material types.
However, joint registries only go so far and don’t consider differences in arthritis presentation or underlying drivers of pathology. It is inappropriate to consider all OA patients to have the same pathology and this is reflected in the large body of work which has now identified hallmarks of OA and how they affect different patient populations.
Equally, just as OA is a heterogeneous disease, there are disparate responses to wear debris from different material combinations used in joint replacement surgery. This has been highlighted by recent high-profile scrutiny of early failure of metal-on-metal total hip replacement (THR) implants. Indeed our own work has highlighted the difference in response to implant debris from metal-on-metal implants.
Bringing together data from joint registries, biomarker analysis, phenotyping of OA patients and knowledge of how different patients respond to implant debris will lead to a
truly personalised approach to treating OA patients, ensuring that the correct implant is given to the correct patient at the correct time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-27
JournalThe Musculoskeletal Journal of Hospital for Special Surgery
Issue number1
Early online date14 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • Precision medicine
  • osteoarthritis
  • joint registry
  • total hip replacement


Dive into the research topics of 'Bearings in hip arthroplasty: Joint Registries vs precision medicine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this