Joint Research Centre - European Commission

The European Commission's in-house science service
European Commission

X-rays photo

Hip-joint, total replacement, insertion without bone-cement© Scuba-limp (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Hip Prostheses: New JRC report summarises current knowledge and identifies further research needs


Every year, about one million patients worldwide undergo total hip arthroplasty surgery to regain pain-free mobility. Following recent problems with certain metal-on-metal hip joint prostheses, regulators around the globe are looking into the efficiency and safety of these medical devices.

A new report by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre summarises the state-of-the-art knowledge in hip prostheses from a biomedical engineering perspective. The report, entitled "Total Hip Arthroplasty - State of the Art, Challenges and Prospects", also identifies areas where further research is needed, such as the long-term exposure to nanosized debris released from metallic hip implants.

The report recommends the systematic setup of implant registers to improve medical quality assurance, and to guide medical research and regulatory management. These registers should be coordinated at European level in order to ensure harmonised and comparable data.