Healthcare Industry News:  Smith & Nephew Endoscopy 

Devices Orthopaedic Surgery

 News Release - March 9, 2010

Smith & Nephew Enhances Gold Standard Technique to Optimize Arthroscopic Repair of a Torn Meniscus

Provides surgeons with easy implant deployment, speed, and superior fixation strength with minimal disruption to the meniscus

ANDOVER, Mass., March 9 (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Smith & Nephew's (NYSE: SNN; LSE:SN) Endoscopy Division today announced the introduction of the FAST-FIX™ 360 Meniscal Repair System, a next generation device that applies novel engineering to provide surgeons with easy implant deployment, speed, and superior fixation strength with minimal disruption to the meniscus. FAST-FIX 360 is among products that will be featured at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) annual meeting, which begins tomorrow in New Orleans.

The FAST-FIX System, first launched in April 2001, offers the strength of the industry's "gold standard" -- a vertical or horizontal mattress suture stitch -- but does not require the open incision traditionally associated with meniscal repair.

The new design utilizes 360 degree actuation, which enables surgeons to deploy implants in any hand position -- vertically, horizontally on either side of the meniscus -- with a fast, smooth advancing motion. The spring-action design facilitates the advancement of each implant into the meniscal capsule.

"The state-of-the-art 360 degree active deployment improvement to the FAST-FIX 360 Meniscal Repair System is one of the most significant features," said Nick Sgaglione, M.D., Associate Chairman and Program Director, Dept. of Orthopaedic Surgery, North Shore Long Island Jewish Medical Center. "This allows for easier deployment of the implants and minimal needle exposure behind the meniscal capsule."

Smaller implants and a pre-tied, self-sliding knot made of 2-0 ULTRABRAID™ Suture create smaller needle insertions, reducing disruption to the meniscus. Additionally, because both implants are enclosed, it allows the surgeon to reposition the needle as necessary for optimal suture placement.

Lastly, a low-profile, stiffer needle shaft improves surgeons control while enabling access and visibility to hard-to-reach areas of the meniscus. A new built-in, adjustable depth limiter also reduces the number of steps required to perform the procedure.

"In line with our strategy of investing for growth, the FAST-FIX 360 Meniscal Repair System is one of a number of premier arthroscopic repair devices that will be launching at AAOS this week," said Carl Vause, Vice President, Repair Marketing, Smith & Nephew Endoscopy.

Editor's note: The menisci are two half-moon shaped pads of cartilage located at the top of the tibia. Usually, meniscal tears in younger adults are the result of a forced twisting injury, often occurring during athletic activity. In older adults, degeneration of the menisci traditionally leads to injury.

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About Smith & Nephew

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business, specialising in Orthopaedic Reconstruction, Orthopaedic Trauma and Clinical Therapies, Endoscopy and Advanced Wound Management products. 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 31 countries around the world. Annual sales in 2009 were $3.8 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.

Source: Smith & Nephew

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