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Sports Icon Billie Jean King Gets Back in the Game with Help from New Knees

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Feb. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Smith & Nephew, Inc. (LSE: SN; NYSE: SNN) announced it is partnering with famed sports icon and humanitarian Billie Jean King to highlight her success following her double knee replacement with a Smith & Nephew product. One year ago, King had double knee replacement surgery, receiving Smith & Nephew's LEGION knee with the company's exclusive VERILAST™ Technology, which according to lab-testing is expected to provide 30 years of active mobility under normal conditions. Following the success of her procedure, the icon wanted to share her story about how this unrivaled knee technology has allowed her to regain her mobility and pursue life to the fullest on her own terms.

"For nearly four decades, I was in a downward spiral of pain and compromise due to my knees, which eventually forced me out of my beloved sport. The most frustrating aspect for me was that my mind and spirit were aligned and motivated, but my body wouldn't cooperate," King said. "The mental and emotional shift my new knees have provided me has been tremendous; I feel like I'm 20 again, and I'm back on the courts playing tennis."

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, there are approximately 581,000 knee replacements performed in the U.S. each year. (i)

"Smith & Nephew is thrilled to be working with Billie Jean King," said Joseph M. DeVivo, president of Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics. "Billie is the archetype of the perfect candidate for the high-performing and long-wearing knee replacements she received through our innovative VERILAST™ Technology. Billie's story of empowerment and long-term endurance are at the very core of what Smith & Nephew products are designed to achieve."

The LEGION™ Primary Knee System with VERILAST™ Technology was used for King's knee replacements. It is the first knee to be tested for 30 simulated years of wear performance and builds on the success of Smith & Nephew's proprietary alloy, OXINIUM™ Oxidized Zirconium. The combination of this lightweight, hypoallergenic metal and a special "highly cross-linked" plastic is more resistant to common implant wear.

"I am living proof of the success of this knee replacement technology. I am no longer in pain and I can trust that my knees will provide the level of endurance that I demand from my body," King said.

In 2009, King was the first female athlete awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the nation's highest civilian honor) by President Obama. She is the holder of 39 Grand Slam titles, the founder of the Women's Tennis Association, Women's Sports Foundation, and Women's Sports Magazine, and co-founded the groundbreaking co-ed tennis league World TeamTennis, and GreenSlam, an environmental initiative for the sports industry. She was also named one of the "100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century" by Life Magazine in 1990.

Based on in-vitro wear simulation testing, the LEGION™ Primary Knee System with VERILAST™ technology is expected to provide wear performance sufficient for 30 years of actual use under typical conditions.

The results of in-vitro wear simulation testing have not been proven to quantitatively predict clinical wear performance.  Also, a reduction in total polyethylene wear volume or wear rate alone may not result in an improved clinical outcome as wear particle size and morphology are also critical factors in the evaluation of the potential for wear mediated osteolysis and associated aseptic implant loosening.  Particle size and morphology were not evaluated as part of the testing.

About Smith & Nephew

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business with global leadership positions in Orthopaedics; including Reconstruction, Trauma and Clinical Therapies; Endoscopy; including Sports Medicine; and Advanced Wound Management. Smith & Nephew is a global leader in arthroscopy and advanced wound management and is one of the leading global orthopedics 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 has distribution channels, purchasing agents and buying entities in over 90 countries worldwide. Annual sales in 2010 were $4 billion.

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This document contains certain forward-looking statements that may or may not prove accurate.  For example, statements regarding expected revenue growth and trading margins, market trends and our product pipeline are forward-looking statements.  Phrases such as "aim", "plan", "intend", "anticipate", "well-placed", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "target", "consider" and similar expressions are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from what is expressed or implied by the statements. For Smith & Nephew, these factors include: economic and financial conditions in the markets we serve, especially those affecting health care providers, payors and customers; price levels for established and innovative medical devices; developments in medical technology; regulatory approvals, reimbursement decisions or other government actions; product defects or recalls; litigation relating to patent or other claims; legal compliance risks and related investigative, remedial or enforcement actions; strategic actions, including acquisitions and dispositions and our success in integrating acquired businesses; and numerous other matters that affect us or our markets, including those of a political, economic, business or competitive nature.  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.

Any forward-looking statement is based on information available to Smith & Nephew as of the date of the statement.  All written or oral forward-looking statements attributable to Smith & Nephew are qualified by this caution.  Smith & Nephew does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect any change in circumstances or in Smith & Nephew's expectations.

™Trademark of Smith & Nephew.  Certain marks registered US Patent and Trademark Office.


SOURCE Smith & Nephew, Inc.
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