HOSPITAL bosses have launched a second recall of patients who have had hip operations over fears that their new joints could wear excessively.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has written to 450 patients who have had a metal-on-metal total hip replacement.
The Mail received numerous calls after last year’s recall of patients who had operations to have metal-on-metal hip resurfacing joints inserted.
The move saw 382 people written to after a national scare. Sixteen had to have their hip joints replaced.
The trust wrote to patients who have total hip replacements where the ball at the top of the joint and the cup which sits in the pelvis are both made of metal.
The letter states that the trust will invite patients for an appointment over the coming months.
The trust is following guidance from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) which says all patients with metal-on-metal hip joints should be reviewed so any early signs that their hip joint is failing can be identified.
There can be problems for a small number of patients who have had metal-on-metal joints implanted where the tissue around the hip joint is affected.
The 450 patients had their total hip replacements at either the University Hospital of Hartlepool or the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, between 2003 and 2009 when the problem was identified and surgeons stopped using the joints.
Patients being recalled will have a blood test and an assessment of movement and pain in the joint.
Following the outcome of the results, discussions will take place with the patients concerned to plan any further action if necessary. Surgeons and researchers at the trust are among a handful of experts across the world to discover problems with abnormal wear and tear on metal-on-metal hip joints.
The medical director of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, David Emerton, said: “Most patients will not have a problem, but we are carrying out these tests because we are following national guidance and we want to err on the side of caution.
“Last year we recalled patients who had hip resurfacing joints and this recall is for patients with total hip replacements.
“We appreciate this is worrying for people, but I’d like to assure patients that they are in good hands.
“Our orthopaedic team is world leaders in this so they can be assured they will get a very thorough review and appropriate action if it’s needed.”
A helpline has been set up for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust patients. It is open from 8am to 6pm on (01642) 624231.