27 Oct 2012

New hazard alert for hip implant

8:44 am on 27 October 2012

Surgeons have been told to contact their patients who have had hip replacements following another international alert about an implant.

A metal-on-metal hip implant, the Durom Acetabular Cup, has been found to degrade faster than other implants.

It is the fifth hazard alert for New Zealand hip replacement patients in two years affecting close to 1200 people in all.

In the latest alert, medicines agency Medsafe says the device was used in 252 hip implants in New Zealand but is no longer being used.

The hip implant was discontinued by its manufacturer in June 2011.

Medsafe group manager Dr Stewart Jessamine says patient health is not at risk and the issue is that - some people will simply require their implant to be replaced earlier than expected.

Dr Jessamine says the number of alerts is due to greater awareness by manufacturers.

"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," he says.

Metal-on-metal implants have been used in around 8% of the total hip implants during the last decade and this rate is declining, the agency says.