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Fifth alert over hip implants – 27-Oct-2012 – NZ Health & Safety news.

Medsafe says it has received another alert for a metal-on-metal hip implant device but patients‘ health is not at risk.

27 October 2012

More hip-replacement patients are being contacted after the fifth international alert for metal-on-metal implants in two years.

The medical regulatory agency Medsafe said it had been advised the Durom acetabular cup, which was used in 252 hip implants in New Zealand from 2003 but had been discontinued by its manufacturer in June 2011, might wear out earlier than expected.

Medsafe group manager Dr Stewart Jessamine said patients’ health was not at risk but some people might need a second implant sooner than thought.

“There is a greater awareness by manufacturers and regulators about these devices, which is why we are seeing more of these alerts,” he said.

Medsafe would continue to work with manufacturers to ensure surgeons were fully informed and followed up with their patients.

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

Metal-on-metal implants had been used in around 8 per cent of hip operations in the past decade and that rate was declining, Medafe said.

The five alerts involve around 1300 patients.