Healthcare Industry News:  Smith & Nephew 

Devices Orthopaedic Surgery

 News Release - March 22, 2006

Smith & Nephew Endoscopy Breaks New Ground with BIORAPTOR(TM) Suture Anchor for Hip Arthroscopy

ANDOVER, Mass., March 22 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Smith & Nephew's (NYSE: SNN ; LSE: SN ) Endoscopy division today announced the launch of the BIORAPTOR Suture Anchor for arthroscopic repair of the hip joint. Smith & Nephew is the first company to introduce a labral repair device for the hip, making this a true breakthrough in hip arthroscopy procedures. The announcement came on the opening day of the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons' Annual Meeting in Chicago.

The labrum is a fibrous ring of cartilage attached to the rim of the hip socket that helps stabilize the joint. Labral tears can be traumatic or degenerative. They are common in athletes who make sudden stops or turns that stress the hip joint. Injuries caused by degeneration are often associated with osteoarthritis if left untreated.

According to one recent study, labral tears were present in 90 percent of hip arthroscopy cases. They can result in hip pain, diminished athletic performance and limitations on the activities of daily living.

The BIORAPTOR Suture Anchor was originally introduced in Smith & Nephew Endoscopy's shoulder line. The tiny anchor, threaded with ULTRABRAID(TM) Suture, is implanted into the bone of the cup of the hip joint. This enables the surgeon to close the tear or tighten the labral tissue as required.

"Smith & Nephew Endoscopy has taken the lead in the hip arthroscopy marketplace," said Dr. Marc J. Philippon, a partner at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colorado. "Many normally active adults have had to give up some of their favorite pastimes, like running, skiing, hockey and golf because of hip joint pain. Smith & Nephew is building a portfolio of arthroscopic devices and procedures that can provide relief to these patients."

The hip joint is the largest in the body and the most difficult to access. Cartilage tears or friction within the joint can cause pain or a "catching" sensation when the joint is flexed. Smith & Nephew Endoscopy's hip repair line is making it possible for surgeons to deliver treatment on an outpatient basis. Most hip arthroscopy is performed at ambulatory surgery centers, with full recovery expected within 10 to 12 weeks.

"We're very excited about the future of our hip arthroscopy business," said Joseph Darling, vice president of Marketing for Smith & Nephew Endoscopy. "We are leveraging the best technologies of our knee and shoulder product lines, and working with leading surgeons and key opinion leaders in the industry to deliver devices that help people with hip pain regain their lives."

About Smith & Nephew:

Smith & Nephew (NYSE: SNN, LSE: SN) (http://www.smith-nephew.com) is a global medical technology business, specializing in Endoscopy, Orthopaedic Reconstruction, Orthopaedic Trauma and Advanced Wound Management products. Smith & Nephew ranks as the global leader in arthroscopy and one of the world's leaders in advanced wound management and is one of the fastest growing orthopaedics companies in the world.

Smith & Nephew is dedicated to helping improve people's lives. The company prides itself on the strength of its relationships with its surgeon and professional healthcare customers, with whom its name is synonymous with the highest standards of performance, innovation and trust. The company has more than 8,500 employees and operates in 33 countries around the world and generated sales of nearly $2.6 billion.

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.

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


Source: Smith & Nephew

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