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Alert issued for another hip implant – 04-Oct-2012 – NZ Health & Safety news.

Alert issued for another hip implant

The British manufacturer of the Birmingham Hip Modular Head says it’s not performing as well as expected when used in total hip replacement surgery.

4 October 2012 

A fourth metal device used in hip replacement surgery has come under scrutiny, but patients have been told they may not need more surgery.

British company Smith and Nephew says the Birmingham Hip Modular Head (BHMH) is not performing as well as expected when used in total hip replacement surgery, and surgeons implanting hip devices have been told it is no longer recommended for such surgery.

Records show 468 BHMH implants were supplied to New Zealand, and 396 have been registered for use in hip replacement surgery.

It’s the fourth worldwide action relating to metal-on-metal hip implant components in the past three years.

The first alert was for the De Puy ASR in 2010, of which 525 devices were used in New Zealand.

The other two alerts, both this year, were for the Mitch TR (41 devices in New Zealand), and the Smith and Nephew R3 (139 devices).

New Zealand’s medicines and medical device regulator, Medsafe, says metal-on-metal implants have been used in eight per cent of total hip implants in the past 10 years.

Medsafe group manager Stewart Jessamine says many patients with these implants and other metal-on-metal implants will not be affected by this or other alerts.

“The alert does not mean patients with the implant will necessarily require revision surgery, however, as a precaution patients with this implant will be followed up more frequently by their doctor,” Dr Jessamine said.

“If patients experience any discomfort or pain they should see their GP or surgeon as they normally would following any surgery on a joint.”

Labour called for an inquiry into faulty hip replacements earlier this year after the first two recalls, but Health Minister Tony Ryall said the answers an inquiry would seek were already known.

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