A metal hip implant used in 41 New Zealanders is being recalled internationally after the device was found to have a high failure rate after three years, Medsafe says.
The primary cause of failure in the MITCH THR implant is loosening and movement in part of the hip joint replacement, Medsafe group manager Dr Stewart Jessamine says.
The international recall came after data found there have been higher-than-expected failure rates in the metal-on-metal hip device three years after implantation.
Three people in New Zealand have had surgery after the implant failed.
"As a result of the increased failure rates, patients who have this implant will need to be followed up annually for the life span of the implant," Dr Jessamine said.
"The recall does not mean that patients with the implant will necessarily require revision surgery."
The company which distributed the implant, Stryker, is asking surgeons to contact 41 patients in New Zealand who received the implant.
New Zealand Orthopaedic Association and New Zealand joint registry were also working to ensure people affected knew they needed further follow-ups and were given information.
Anyone concerned they may have the implant should contact their doctor or surgeon, Medsafe says.
The implant was used in New Zealand between 2006 and 2010.
It was manufactured by a UK company, Finsbury Orthopaedics Ltd, acquired by DePuy Orthopaedics in 2009.
DePuy, a division of Johnson and Johnson, recalled another hip implant in 2010, after tiny metal fragments were found to be breaking off the implant, leaking into the blood and poisoning it.
About 500 New Zealanders may have that implant and a group of them are taking legal action against the company, seeking compensation for pain, suffering and financial loss.