Northern Orthopaedic Retrievals Service (NORS)

Northern Orthopaedic Retrievals Service (NORS)

This service provides analysis of artificial joints once removed from a patient. A key ability of NORS is to determine the volumetric wear of material from the artificial joint which has entered into a patient’s body.

Much of the current work of NORS is concerned with the wear characteristics of metal-on-metal hip joints. These include DePuy ASR, DePuy Pinnacle, Smith and Nephew BHR (Birmingham Hip Resurfacing), Zimmer Durom, Wright Medical Conserve, Finsbury Adept and Corin Cormet.

However, assessment of artificial joints obtained from other joints of the body, such as the knee, shoulder, elbow, finger and toe can also be undertaken.

A forensic analysis service is offered to patients, legal firms and other bodies as a commercial service of Newcastle University, including the use of a state-of-the art co-ordinate measurement machine and bespoke software developed through the research activities of the University for this purpose.



NORS provides a range of services, including:

  • measurement of how worn an artificial joint has become and thus how much wear debris has entered the body of a person; this is particularly timely given media interest in metal-on-metal hip replacement
  • measurement of how rough the surfaces of the artificial joints have become, which gives an indication of how well lubricated the artificial hip was prior to its removal
  • forensic reporting of the analysis with comparative data from research carried out on other similar joints
  • expert witness and consultancy services in litigation cases brought about by patients and class actions

More information

View an example Wear Analysis Report for Explanted Metal-on-Metal Hip Prosthesis (PDF: 631KB).

More information about this research is available on the Metal Hip Research Project website.

For further information, email or telephone +44 (0)191 2463721.