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Smith & Nephew Endoscopy Launches New Bioabsorbable Anchor for Rotator Cuff Repair

Smith & Nephew, Inc., Endoscopy Division, a subsidiary of Smith & Nephew plc (NYSE: SNN) (London Stock Exchange: SN), today announced the introduction of the TWINFIX™ AB 5.0 Suture Anchor, a bioabsorbable suture anchor specifically designed to address the wide variations in bone density and tissue quality for patients requiring surgical intervention for rotator cuff injuries.

Normally associated with the most common cause of shoulder pain, the rotator cuff, a group of four muscles whose tendons converge to help stabilize and move the shoulder, is subject to a considerable amount of wear and tear with regular daily activities, especially repetitive overhead motions.

The TWINFIX™ AB Suture Anchor is uniquely designed, using a patented double-helix Hi-Lo thread pattern to ensure that the anchor deploys into and is retained across the wide variations in patient bone densities and tissue quality.

"There is a substantial variation in patient bone density, which can be attributed to age, gender, activity level and other lifestyle habits," commented Dr. Les Matthews, Chief of Orthopedic Surgery, Union Memorial Hospital, located in Baltimore and also past-president of the Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA). "The ease of application and fixation strength of the TWINFIX™ AB 5.0 Suture Anchor enables me to readily adapt to specific patient needs."

According to company estimates, over 500,000 rotator cuff procedures are performed on an annual basis to alleviate the persistent pain associated with shoulder injuries, and to regain full range of motion.

"Because rotator cuff injuries typically occur in those aged 55 and over, the baby boom generation will have an exponential affect on the number of procedures that take place in the future," said Ron Sparks, president, Smith & Nephew Endoscopy. "With that in mind, we have developed the TWINFIX™ Suture Anchor to meet the overuse and instability injuries associated with younger patients, as well as the chronic shoulder pain and degeneration issues associated with those as they age."

The TWINFIX™ Suture Anchor is manufactured with Poly-L-Lactide Polymer (PLLA), a material of the polyhydroxy acid family that absorbs over time and is excreted from the body within three to five years.

About Smith & Nephew Inc., Endoscopy Division

Smith & Nephew Endoscopy is a world leader in the development and commercialization of endoscopic techniques. Within endoscopy, Smith & Nephew is the recognized world leader in arthroscopy (endoscopic procedures performed on articulating joints).

It is one of the core business units of Smith & Nephew plc, (NYSE: SNN) (London Stock Exchange: SN), a leading worldwide medical devices company with a highly successful track record in developing, manufacturing and marketing a wide variety of innovative and technologically advanced tissue repair products. These products are primarily in the areas of bone, joints, skin and other soft tissue. Smith & Nephew has extensive marketing and distribution capabilities, with established sales in more than 90 countries.

Foward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. The company wishes to caution the reader that actual results may differ from those discussed in the forward-looking statements and may be adversely affected by, among other things, risks associated with new product development and commercialization, clinical trials, intellectual property, regulatory approvals, competitive offerings, the company's overall business strategy and other factors.

Press Contact

Joe Metzger, Smith & Nephew Endoscopy