Artificial hip and knee joints that have to be removed after failing early are to be examined routinely to save the NHS £200million a year – and reduce unnecessary pain for patients in future.
Less than 1 in 100 removed implants are examined to see why they failed, so surgeons don’t learn what went wrong or pick up on potential scandals.
Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Raghavendra Sidaginamale, of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust, said: "Most removed implants are put in the bin. A wealth of information goes down the drain."
Now the NHS is setting up an Implants Analysis Service, enabling hospitals to send them off to be analysed for signs of unusual wear or chemical degradation.
Each year, 15,000 hip and knee replacements are replaced. If this happens within ten years, they are deemed to have failed early. Jason Wilson, of the IAS, said they are ‘like a black box flight recorder in a plane’, adding: "They hold a wealth of information we can learn from."
Source: Daily Mail, 29 January 2023
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