MEMPHIS, Tenn., Feb. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Smith & Nephew, Inc. (LSE: SN; NYSE: SNN) announced it is partnering with famed sports icon and humanitarian Billie Jean King to highlight her success following her double knee replacement with a Smith & Nephew product. One year ago, King had double knee replacement surgery, receiving Smith & Nephew's LEGION knee with the company's exclusive VERILAST™ Technology, which according to lab-testing is expected to provide 30 years of active mobility under normal conditions. Following the success of her procedure, the icon wanted to share her story about how this unrivaled knee technology has allowed her to regain her mobility and pursue life to the fullest on her own terms.

"For nearly four decades, I was in a downward spiral of pain and compromise due to my knees, which eventually forced me out of my beloved sport. The most frustrating aspect for me was that my mind and spirit were aligned and motivated, but my body wouldn't cooperate," King said. "The mental and emotional shift my new knees have provided me has been tremendous; I feel like I'm 20 again, and I'm back on the courts playing tennis."

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, there are approximately 581,000 knee replacements performed in the U.S. each year. (i)

"Smith & Nephew is thrilled to be working with Billie Jean King," said Joseph M. DeVivo, president of Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics. "Billie is the archetype of the perfect candidate for the high-performing and long-wearing knee replacements she received through our innovative VERILAST™ Technology. Billie's story of empowerment and long-term endurance are at the very core of what Smith & Nephew products are designed to achieve."

The LEGION™ Primary Knee System with VERILAST™ Technology was used for King's knee replacements. It