Check large metal-on-metal implants annually

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued new guidelines on large metal-on-metal hip implants in August 2012.

Everyone who has large metal-on-metal hip implants must be checked annually for the life of the implant.

Previous guidelines had recommended this for only the first five years of the hip implant but the MHRA agency now advises to check them for the full ilfe of hte porduct.

What is a large metal-on-metal (MoM) hip implant?

metal hip implant

A metal-on-metal hip implant

The MHRA’s updated advice concerns the type of MoM implant in which the head of the femur is 36mm or greater. This is often referred to as a ‘large head’ implant.

This is often referred to as a ‘large head’ implant. The agency now says that patients fitted with this type of implant should be monitored annually for the life of the implant, and that they should also have tests to measure levels of metal particles (ions) in their blood. Patients with these implants who have symptoms should also have MRI or ultrasound scans, and patients without symptoms should have a scan if their blood levels of metal ions are rising. The previous guidance on this type of hip implant, issued in April 2010, advised that patients should be monitored annually for no fewer than five years.