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Smith & Nephew Receives FDA 510k Clearance for a 30-year Knee
Date:4/22/2010

MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- As evidence of its drive to return knee pain sufferers to a lifetime of physical activity, Smith & Nephew ( SNN, LSE: SN) Orthopaedics Division today announces the results of unprecedented testing on its VERILAST technology for knee replacement implants. After simulating 30 years of physical activity on the company's LEGION™ knee replacement, VERILAST technology produced an 81-percent reduction* in wear, the leading cause of knee replacement failure.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reviewed the results and Smith & Nephew received 510k clearance for claims related to VERILAST technology's ability to "provide wear performance sufficient for 30 years of actual use under typical conditions." The consensus of scientific literature is that knee implants are expected to last 10 to 15 years.

"Physically active patients want to end their knee pain for good," said Joseph M. DeVivo, president of Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics. "We're working to make knee implants that last a lifetime—that's our goal, and we've validated VERILAST technology out to 30 years for a market that views 10 to 15 years as the gold standard. This is not an incremental improvement; it's a generational leap forward for active patients.

"Every orthopaedic device company has focused for years, if not decades, on developing the best possible bearing surfaces for improving the performance and longevity of knee implants," said Scott Elliott, senior vice president, global knee franchise, for Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics. "To reduce wear in knee replacements, companies have all created their own formulas for the dense plastic component (highly cross-linked polyethylene, or XLPE) used on the tib
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