Ireland establishes joint replacement register following DePuy withdrawal

Fed up with a hip replacement system that resulted in the withdrawal of the product from Ireland, Irish orthopaedic surgeons have negotiated a deal with Health Service Executive, Ireland’s health and social services organization, to establish a joint replacement register to give better data on artificial hip and other joint replacements and help identify any problems that may be emerging with them.

The registry was announced by David Moore, president of the Institute of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, and was spurred by the August withdrawal of the DuPuy ASR hip implant system after reports of a higher than normal failure rate with the product. Research shows that after five years, about 12 percent of people who received the DePuy implant needed it replaced. Most successful hip replacements will eventually have a failure rate of 15 percent after 35 years.

As part of the implant withdrawal, investigators are inspecting about 3,500 Irish patients who received the implant. An estimated 400 of those who received the implant may require new hip replacement operations.

Currently, Ireland relies on registers from other countries to identify joint replacement problems. Data from the UK joint register led to the worldwide alert of the problems with the DePuy hip product problems. Patients who reported problems in the first five years after hip replacement surgery in which they received the DePuy products experienced pain, swelling and problems walking caused by loosening of the device, fracturing of the bone around the implant, or dislocation from the two parts of the implant moving against each other.