New Report Indicates VERILAST(TM) Technology From Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics has Lowest Revision Rate Among all Hip Replacement Materials

By Smith Nephew, PRNE
Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Database tracking more than 150,000 hip implants shows ceramicized metal devices achieve highest survivorship rate five years after surgery

MEMPHIS, Tennessee, December 2, 2010 - A newly released patient registry reports that hip replacement implants
made from ceramicized metal heads which articulate against polyethylene lined
cups have been shown to have superior survivorship compared to implants made
from any other material five years after surgery. OXINIUM(TM) Oxidized
Zirconium and cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE), the materials in VERILAST
Technology from Smith & Nephew (NYSE: SNN, LSE: SN) Orthopaedics Division,
comprise the overwhelming majority of ceramicized metal hip implants in the
global orthopaedic market. VERILAST Technology is used in both hip and knee
replacement implants.

The Australian Orthopaedic Association's National Joint Replacement
Registry Annual Report tracks virtually all joint replacements implanted in
that country, and in the 2010 edition, the group reports on more than 150,000
hip replacements implanted between 1999 and 2009.

The data shows that implants using ceramicized metal technology, such as
OXINIUM Oxidized Zirconium, in combination with polyethylene, remained
successful in 97.9%(1) of patients five years after surgery. Implants with
bearings made from other materials had to be revised (surgically corrected or
replaced) over the same period at higher rates. The survivorship rate for
ceramicized metal bearings improved to 98.5-percent in the larger component
sizes, and the performance gap between ceramicized metal bearings and other
bearing materials widened, as well.

"OXINIUM material in combination with cross-linked polyethylene is unique
among hip replacement technologies," says Joseph M. DeVivo, president of
Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics. "We're thrilled by these results-we've worked
hard to introduce technologies that improve the wear performance of implants,
and this report confirms our decades of research and innovation. Active
patients demand implants that can keep pace with their lifestyle, and we have
the patent on the most technologically advanced material for this segment."

Studying the performance of OXINIUM Oxidized Zirconium against other
bearing surfaces in a large patient group is now possible because the 2010
edition of the patient registry marks the first time the Australian
Orthopaedic Association has tracked "Ceramicized Metal/Polyethylene" as a
distinct category of bearing surface materials. OXINIUM material is a metal
alloy that undergoes a proprietary heating process, transforming its surface
into a hard, smooth ceramic that is 4,900 times more resistant to scratching
than the traditionally used metal alloy, cobalt chrome. The underlying alloy
retains its original properties, giving the implant the strength of metal,
but the improved wear performance of a ceramic. It is 20-percent lighter than
cobalt chrome, and because it doesn't contain detectable amounts of nickel
like cobalt chrome does, it is considered hypoallergenic and safe for
patients with metal allergies.

Smith & Nephew recently introduced VERILAST(TM) Technology, which is the
combination of OXINIUM material and a unique cross-linked polyethylene
formula. This bearing couple has been shown in laboratory tests to reduce hip
implant wear by up to 98-percent(2) when compared to cobalt chrome and
conventional polyethylene. In April 2010, Smith & Nephew announced the
results of an unprecedented laboratory test on the use of VERILAST(TM)
Technology with its LEGION(TM) Primary Knee System, which showed that it is
expected to provide performance for 30 years of typical physical activity.

The results of this 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. The same test has not
been performed on the use of VERILAST technology in hip replacements.

(1) Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement
Registry Annual Report. Adelaide: AOA; 2010.

(2) 16 M .G. Li, Z.K. Zhou, D.J. Wood, S.M. Rohrl, J.L. Loppolo, and B.
Nivbrandt. (2006) Low wear with high-cross linked polyethylene especially in
combination with Oxinium heads. A RSA evaluation. Trans. Orthop. Res. Soc.,
31, 643.

About Us

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business, specialising in
Orthopaedics, including Reconstruction, Trauma and Clinical Therapies;
Endoscopy and Advanced Wound Management. 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
32 countries around the world. Annual sales in 2009 were nearly $3.8 billion.

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