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Hip Replacements Commonly Performed in the U.K. Without Clinical Efficacy Studies — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
December 20, 2013

Hip Replacements Commonly Performed in the U.K. Without Clinical Efficacy Studies

By Kelly Young

Many hip prostheses available to orthopedic surgeons do not have published evidence to support their use, according to a BMJ study.

Using the National Joint Registry of England and Wales, researchers found that a quarter of all brands available to surgeons in 2011 had no published studies on their clinical effectiveness. Roughly 8% of all total hip arthroplasties performed used prostheses with no evidence of effectiveness.

Editorialists point out that in the U.S., formal efficacy trials are not required for moderate-risk devices such as hip prostheses if the manufacturer can demonstrate "substantial equivalence" to a product already on the market. They write: "Physicians who adopt new technologies that have little or no evidence of superiority over existing products need to be educated about the implications of their choices. They should also ensure that their patients know about the benefits and risks of the new — but often unproved — medical devices that they are receiving."

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