A European spine registry
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New joint replacement registries are being widely implemented across national and international organizations. The need for a continuous long-term post-market surveillance of implants has been recognized, and has become increasingly important to ensure the quality of prosthetic components. Registry data with large case numbers represent an acceptable alternative to controlled randomized clinical trials, which are often difficult to conduct in orthopedic surgery. The variety of implants and procedures in spinal surgery not only induces the same need for long-term monitoring of post-surgical product performance as in the joint replacement subspecialties, but also renders essential the establishment of a comprehensive spine registry for all major pathologies and interventions. In cooperation with the M.E. Müller Institute for Evaluative Research in Orthopedic Surgery (MEM-CED) at the University of Berne, Switzerland, the Spine Society of Europe (SSE) has launched Spine Tango: the first modular and multilevel European online registry for spinal surgery. Within Spine Tango, the major challenge in registry design and structure is the definition of and agreement upon a core set of questions as a common European dataset. Additional questions for national or individual interest can also be dynamically added to the core dataset. An automated implant tracking system has also been setup, which allows highly precise product documentation without additional work for clinical staff members.
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