Oxidized zirconium (OxiniumTM; Smith & Nephew, Memphis, TN, USA) articulated with polyethylene in total hip arthroplasty (THA) appeared to have the potential to reduce wear dramatically. The thermally oxidized metal zirconium surface is transformed into ceramic -like hard surface that is resistant to abrasion. The exposure of soft zirconium metal under hard coverage surface after the damage of oxidized zirconium femoral head has been described. It occurred following joint dislocation or in situ succeeding disengagement of polyethylene liner. We reported three cases of misuse of OxiniumTM (Smith & Nephew, Memphis, TN, USA) heads. These three cases resulted in catastrophic in situ wear and inevitable failure although there was no advice, indication or recommendation for this use from the manufacturer. (C) 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.