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Is one hip prosthesis better than another?

Created date

January 24th, 2012

Americans get about 300,000 hip replacement surgeries every year. There are several options for the materials used in the prostheses, including metal-on-polyethylene, metal-on-metal, and ceramic-on-ceramic. Which is the best? A recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) study set out to discover the answer. After analyzing data from 18 comparative studies, researchers found no clear advantage of one implant over another with regard to effectiveness. They did, however, find evidence of problems associated with metal-on-metal implants. People who had these prostheses were at a greater risk for a revision surgery. The study authors stress that more research is needed. The FDA has now initiated the International Consortium of Orthopaedic Registries to help improve safety and effectiveness of all orthopedic devices and procedures. More than ten national registries will collaborate to capture data for further study. Look beyond the scores for a good nursing home The government scoring system for nursing home quality may not provide complete or accurate information particularly with regard to dementia care, according to researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute. The study found that a facility may receive a poor score in part because they have a large number of patients whose behavior has worsened due to dementia. In addition, whether a facility has a specialized dementia care unit is not taken into consideration for scoring purposes. As a result, people seeking placement for loved ones may bypass a facility with a lesser score, even if the staff has the most experience caring for dementia patients. Factors to take into consideration include cleanliness, availability of prompt medical care, and staff to patient ratios.