19 February 2014

Smith & Nephew Introduces POLARSTEM cementless hip stem to the US market

Smith & Nephew (NYSE:SNN;LSE:SN), the global medical technology business, today announced the US launch of its clinically proven POLARSTEM cementless stem for total hip replacement. Available outside the US since 2002, the versatile POLARSTEM implant is one of the company’s most popular stems globally and features a unique geometry and surface texture.

For US surgeons who use the direct anterior approach for total hip replacement, the POLARSTEM implant offers several design features that assist with muscle sparing approaches. For example, the proximal portion of the stem is wider to help reduce the possibility of movement downward into the bone. Whereas the distal portion of the stem is shorter and features a narrower tip, making it easier to implant through the smaller incision used in the direct anterior approach. Lastly, the stem features an advanced surface texture of titanium plasma and a hydroxyapatite layer.

 “The POLARSTEM implant has advantages over similar style stems that are currently on the market. The wider proximal fit and fill, as well as the reduced distal body of the stem has allowed a better patient fit for my patients with little to no limitations in regards to bone type or femoral morphologies,” says Dr. Jason Lang, Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

“Simply based on its excellent mid-term follow up data of 99.5% survivorship at 5.6 years[i] and the design advantages it offers for minimally invasive and direct anterior surgeons, the POLARSTEM implant stands apart from other hip stems,” says Gaurav Agarwal, President of Orthopaedic Reconstruction for Smith & Nephew’s Advanced Surgical Devices Division. “However, when you add the wear-reducing advantages of our proprietary VERILAST Technology, the final construct truly becomes an optimal hip replacement option.”

VERILAST Technology is an advanced low-friction bearing couple combining OXINIUM Oxidized Zirconium, a patented ceramicised metal alloy for the femoral head, and a cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) cup liner for the acetabulum. During rigorous lab testing, VERILAST Technology demonstrated 67% less wear than the combination of cobalt chrome and XLPE.[ii] In the 2013 Australian National Joint Registry, total hips utilizing the combination of ceramicised metal on XLPE was shown to have higher survivorship rates of any total hip construct utilizing other bearing combinations.[iii]

Editor’s notes:

With the direct anterior approach, an incision is made on the front of the hip rather than the side or back. As a result, the surgeon can follow the natural spaces between the hip joint’s muscles and tendons, thereby minimizing the damage to the surrounding soft tissues. Because there is less soft tissue that needs to heal, patients undergoing direct anterior hip surgery reported less postoperative pain. [iv]

Additionally, because the gluteal muscles and other natural stabilizers are left undisturbed during the direct anterior approach, it is possible for patients to regain mobility more quickly and ultimately go home from the hospital sooner.




Joe Metzger
Smith & Nephew




Phil Cowdy
Smith & Nephew

+44 (0)20 7401 7646

About Smith & Nephew

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business dedicated to helping healthcare professionals improve people's lives. With leadership positions in Orthopaedic Reconstruction, Advanced Wound Management, Sports Medicine and Trauma & Extremities, Smith & Nephew has around 11,000 employees and a presence in more than 90 countries. Annual sales in 2013 were more than $4.3 billion. Smith & Nephew is a member of the FTSE100 (LSE: SN, NYSE: SNN).

For more information about Smith & Nephew, please visit our corporate website www.smith-nephew.com, follow @SmithNephewplc on Twitter or visit SmithNephewplc on Facebook.com

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[i] Cyprès, Alain, MD, Girardin, Phillippe, MD. "Mid-term results with the full hydroxyapatite-coated POLARSTEM™ Femoral Stem", Bone & Joint Science. Vol. 03 No. 09, 2013.

[ii] Parikh, P. Hill, V. Pawar and J. Sprague, "Long-term simulator wear performance of an advanced bearing technology for THA," Orthop Res Soc, San Antonio, TX, Jan 26-29, 2013, 1028.

[iii] Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry Annual report. Adelaide: AOA; 2013.

[iv] V. Alecci, M. Valente, M. Crucil, M. Minerva, C.-M Pellegrino, D D. Sabbadini, "Comparison of primary total hip replacements performed with a direct anterior approach versus the standard lateral approach: perioperative findings", Journal of Orthopaed Traumatol (2011) 12:123–129