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Smith & Nephew Endoscopy's OSTEORAPTOR(TM) Anchor Provides Bioabsorbable Solution for Labral Tears in the Hip and Shoulder

First hip anchor made from bioabsorbable Hydroxyapatite (HA)

ANDOVER, Mass., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Smith & Nephew's (NYSE: SNN; LSE: SN) Endoscopy Division has announced the launch of the OSTEORAPTOR Anchor for repair in the hip and shoulder. The device is showcased at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting (AAOS), which begins today in Las Vegas.

During 2009, surgeons will perform an estimated 15,000 labral repair procedures in the hip joint and an estimated 185,000 procedures for the shoulder. Labral repairs are necessary when the labrum, the fibrous cartilage ring that rims the joint socket, tears or becomes stretched due to impingement or acute injury. Damage to the labrum in the hip may be a source of chronic pain and may also contribute to osteoarthritis. In the shoulder, this damage can lead to instability where the upper arm bone slips out of the socket. In standard procedures, surgeons reattach the labrum to the bony socket of the joint using small anchors and suture.

Smith & Nephew Endoscopy's new OSTEORAPTOR Anchor is the first hip anchor to use Polylactic Acid Hydroxyapatite (PLLA-HA). The key ingredient, Hydroxyapatite (HA), is a mineral found naturally in bone. Studies have shown that the presence of HA increases the anchor's strength and introduces chemicals that promote the formation of a strong bond between the anchor and the bone surface.(1)

The anchor is available in 2.3 and 2.9 mm sizes. The OSTEORAPTOR 2.3 mm Anchor for use in the hip, is the smallest bioabsorbable hip anchor on the market. Typically, surgeons use multiple anchors to repair labral tears. The anchors' size gives the surgeon the ability to place them more precisely within the tight confines of the joint space.

"Labral repair in the hip is challenging to perform arthroscopically because of the lack of anchors and instrumentation designed for the confines of this difficult-to-access joint capsule," said Dr. Marc Philippon of the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo., and one of the world's top hip surgeons. "The OSTEORAPTOR Anchor is designed so that labral tears can be repaired more precisely and securely, which is a benefit to surgeon and patient alike."

Based on surgeon feedback, the OSTEORAPTOR Anchor system incorporates many features of the previously released BIORAPTOR(TM) Anchor line - including the implant rib design and the instrumentation used to deliver the implant. Because they are molded from bioabsorbable PLLA-HA, the anchor is invisible on x-ray and does not distort images captured using Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

"We actively engage with our surgeon customers to gain a more thorough understanding of their needs," said Alain Tranchemontagne, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Smith & Nephew Endoscopy. "The OSTEORAPTOR Anchors for hip and shoulder labral repair provide the features that our customers communicate they are looking for in a repair device, and we're pleased to bring them to market for the benefit of hip and shoulder patients worldwide."

(TM)Trademark of Smith & Nephew. Certain Marks Reg. U.S. Pat. & T.M. Off.

(1) Landor I. Vavrik P. Sosna A. Jahoda D. Hahn H, Daniel M. Hydroxyapatite porous coating and the osteointegration of the total hip replacement. Arch Orthop. Trauma Surg. 2007 Feb; 127(2):81-9. Epub2006 Sep30.

    Contact: Joe Metzger
    Sr. Vice President, Corporate Communications
    Smith & Nephew Endoscopy
    (978) 749-1330

About Us

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business, specialising in Orthopaedics, including Reconstruction, Trauma and Clinical Therapies; Endoscopy and Advanced Wound Management. Smith & Nephew is a global leader in arthroscopy and advanced wound management and is one of the leading global orthopaedics companies.

Smith & Nephew is dedicated to helping improve people's lives. The Company prides itself on the strength of its relationships with its surgeons and professional healthcare customers, with whom its name is synonymous with high standards of performance, innovation and trust. The Company operates in 32 countries around the world. Annual sales in 2008 were $3.8 billion.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In particular, statements regarding planned growth in our business and in our operating margins discussed under "Outlook" are forward-looking statements as are discussions of our product pipeline. These statements, as well as the phrases "aim", "plan", "intend", "anticipate", "well-placed", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "target", "consider" and similar expressions, are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors (including, but not limited to, the outcome of litigation and regulatory approvals) that could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Smith & Nephew, or industry results, to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Please refer to the documents that Smith & Nephew has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including Smith & Nephew's most recent annual report on Form 20F, for a discussion of certain of these factors.

All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to Smith & Nephew as of the date hereof. All written or oral forward-looking statements attributable to Smith & Nephew or any person acting on behalf of Smith & Nephew are expressly qualified in their entirety by the foregoing. Smith & Nephew does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in Smith & Nephew's expectation with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

SOURCE Smith & Nephew
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