More faulty hip implants recalled

Hundreds of Kiwi patients have had surgery to replace the failed coblat and chrome metal hip. Photo / supplied
Hundreds of Kiwi patients have had surgery to replace the failed coblat and chrome metal hip. Photo / supplied

A third metal-on-metal hip implant has been recalled by its manufacturer, affecting New Zealanders fitted with the device.

UK company Smith and Nephew has recalled a hip implant with a metal liner in New Zealand and worldwide, saying the R3 "is not performing as well as desired''.

139 of the implants were supplied to New Zealand.

It is the third such recall in recent years.

In April Medsafe announced a recall of 41 Mitch THR hip implants, and in 2010 525 ASR implants were recalled.

Medsafe, New Zealand's medicines and medical device regulator, said today that Smith and Nephew was contacting surgeons to alert them to the latest recall, asking them to contact affected patients and advising them of the need for greater monitoring of their patients.

Medsafe head of compliance management Derek Fitzgerald said many patients with R3 implants and other metal-on-metal implants would not be affected.

"The recall 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.

"If patients experience any discomfort or pain they should see their GP or surgeon as they normally would following any surgery on a joint,'' he said.

Medsafe said the three recalls represented less than 1 per cent of the hip replacements done in New Zealand in the past 11 years.

70,889 hip implants had been carried out in that time. Of those, 6225 had been metal-on-metal implants.

The Smith and Nephew R3 metal liners were first used in Europe and Australia in 2007, NZ in 2008 and globally from 2009.

Smith and Nephew recalled the product as the UK and Australian joint registries were reporting the metal liners, the bearing surface or cup, were having higher revision rates than for R3 implants that used other liners.

- APNZ

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