Orthopaedic Registers and Databases

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Registers of common orthopaedic procedures such as hip joint replacement have now been established in many different nations or regions. As a research tool on outcomes, registers have different advantages to randomized controlled trials. The cases accumulate faster and from more institutions. Data can now be collected electronically reducing the likelihood of transcription errors. A large amount of useful information has come from these registers.
There is a class of orthopaedic condition that is so unusual that even major institutions have no opportunity of making a large collection of cases. The Internet offers a way in which such conditions may be collected and studies by providing a site where the clinical details of rare conditions may be reported. The Orthopaedic Rare Conditions Internet Database (ORCID) was set up to provide a repository for case studies of rare conditions. The idea was promoted with a poster at the Annual Meeting of the AAOS (2000) but there has been very little response. It might be preferable to design a true database site which was interactive; but it was clear in 2000 that the time for this effort had not yet arrived. Such sites need to achieve a critical mass before they become a well known and reputable institution.
Databases as a whole offer many opportunities for improving the practice of orthopaedics. They provide stable repeatable documentation and with PDAs can take Information Technology to the bedside. They offer a way in which worldwide standardized collection of data can be used to address common but intractable orthopaedic problems. The Surgical Implant Generation Network (SIGN) organization has a database of IM nailing cases. The Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA) maintains the OTA Trauma Registry Database for Multicenter Studies as a member benefit. "The registry is now capable of supporting multicenter studies.  Any individual or group who desires to utilize the OTA trauma database for a clinical study will be able to do so"

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