and Dr Thomas Concannon

Artificial joints are sometimes used in patients before information on their safety has been gathered

Individuals with arthritis or joint trauma may seek partial or total joint replacement (“arthroplasty”) to reduce pain and improve functionality. For arthroplasty, an orthopedic surgeon may select from a number of implantable devices—artificial hips or knees—that are available on the market. These devices may be used before adequate data on safety and effectiveness are available. For example, the widespread use of metal-on-metal devices led to permanent muscle tissue damage for many patients. Before these risks were known, 200,000 of these hips were used in patients despite a complete absence of evidence about their safety.

What can you do?

The device selection process was identified by CreakyJoints and our partners as an area that is under-studied. Patients are interested in the selection of devices, but they must be further involved before research is conducted. To that end, you are encouraged to sign up for a one-hour webinar (conference call) to be held in February that covers the following topics:

  • Patient Experience—Discussion of patient experience and knowledge regarding joint replacement implant devices (artificial knees and hips)
  • Research Involvement—Discussion of how patients can be involved in all phases of research

If you are 18 or older, live in the U.S., and have had or are thinking about having knee or hip joint replacement surgery, please consider participating in one of our upcoming webinar discussions scheduled for February 2016. You can register here or email Shilpa, our new Research Associate, at [email protected] for more information.

You can participate at home by phone, computer or both. Participating in this patient-led project can lead to changes in the way care is delivered. For example, through your involvement, you may contribute to improvements in the safety of joint replacement and implant devices. Or you may help initiate improvements in the way your individual care is delivered, like making joint replacement follow-up at home possible.

This project is funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award (2228-GHLF).

Looking for more ways to get involved in research? Check out


Concannon ThomasDr. Thomas Concannon is Senior Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine and Associate Director of Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) Programs at the Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute. His research is focused on patient care in emergency, acute and post-acute settings using administrative claims, survey, and other types of data. Dr. Concannon has been active for over 20 years in efforts to engage patients, consumers, communities, and other stakeholders in healthcare research.