New Zealand surgeons warned against using Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Modular Head implant component

Surgeons in New Zealand have received warnings regarding the use of the Smith & Nephew Birmingham Hip Modular Head device in hip implant surgeries. It is the latest metal-on-metal hip implant to come with such a warning as the safety of these devices continues to be doubted.

According to a report from, the British medical device maker is warning surgeons to avoid using the Birmingham all-metal hip implant device after the manufacturer said it was no longer recommended for use in a metal-on-metal total hip replacement. This warning comes after a recent advisory from two national joint registries which track defects and complications with medical devices.

The National Joint Registry of England and Wales along with the Australian Orthopaedic Association’s National Joint Replacement found that the Birmingham device failed in more than 1 percent of recipients. The 1 percent benchmark is used as a barometer for determining the overall safety of a medical device. Anything above that 1 percent rate is not recommended.

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