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"