The warning was issued for Mitch TRH cups / heads made by Finsbury Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, used in conjunction with Accolade femoral stems made by Stryker. Around 270 patients in England and Wales have this particular combination of metal cup and head implant

Surgeons are now being told to use alternative implants as statistics from The National Registry for England and Wales show 10.7% of patients required revision surgery four years after implantation.

The implants are no longer being manufactured or distributed and patients affected are to be closely monitored.

Metal-on-metal total hip replacements fail more frequently than other types

The advice from the UK health regulator follows a recent warning that metal-on-metal total hip replacements fail more frequently than other types. It is thought that the friction of the metal parts can cause metal debris to break off the implant and leak into the blood stream.

This can cause muscle, bone and tissue damage along with neurological problems.

The clinical director of the MHRA, Dr Susanne Ludgate, said the revision rate was unacceptably high for this particular combination of hip implant:

"That is why we have advised surgeons to stop using this combination and to monitor their patients closely.

"We have previously taken prompt action in February to investigate safety concerns and provided advice on patient management to relevant healthcare professionals."