New Smith & Nephew Endoscopy Fully-Threaded Anchor for Rotator Cuff Repair Delivers Best-in-Class Fixation Strength

Mar 11, 2010, 07:00 ET from Smith & Nephew, Inc.

ANDOVER, Mass., March 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Smith & Nephew's (NYSE: SNN; LSE: SN) Endoscopy Division today announced the introduction of the TWINFIX™ Ultra PK Suture Anchor, a new anchor to address wide variation in bone density and tissue quality for rotator cuff repair in the shoulder.  The device is currently being featured at Smith & Nephew Endoscopy's booth at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) annual meeting in New Orleans.

The new anchor – available in sizes ranging from 4.5 mm to 6.5 mm – incorporates a fully-threaded design that makes it easier to insert and provides for exceptional fixation strength.  The average fixation strength* of the TWINFIX Ultra PK Suture Anchor is superior when compared against two leading competitive anchors.

"The thread count, or pitch, of the anchor is tighter than most anchors which gives it more grip in the bone," said Robert McLaughlin, M.D., Coastal Orthopedics, Beverly Hospital, Beverly, Mass.  "It's also easy to use. I can insert and disengage the inserter easily with one hand – a feature you don't find in most anchors."

As part of the popular TWINFIX family of suture anchors, the TWINFIX Ultra PK Suture Anchor provides surgeons with yet another material choice for their surgical needs.  The anchor is molded from PEEK® by Invibio, a polymer whose strength, stiffness and biocompatibility are similar to those of cortical bone.  

It also incorporates Smith & Nephew's proven high strength ULTRABRAID™ Suture.  ULTRABRAID is made of a polyethylene fiber with a unique, proprietary braid configuration. It slides through tissue and anchors easily, resists fraying and creates a stronger knot than traditional suture.

"As a customer led organization it's vitally important that we obtain voice-of-customer when it comes to product features and benefits," commented Alain Tranchemontagne, senior vice president, Global Marketing, Smith & Nephew Endoscopy.  "The fully-threaded design we incorporated into the TWINFIX Ultra PK Suture Anchor is a direct result of that feedback."

Editor's note: 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.  According to company estimates, nearly 700,000 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.

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

*According to internal bench testing. Data on file

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.

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Contact: Joe Metzger

SVP, Corporate Communications

Smith & Nephew Endoscopy

(978) 749-1330

SOURCE Smith & Nephew, Inc.