|Tennis Great Is Eager To Share His Personal Success With Total Hip Replacement Surgery and Offer Hope to Other Chronic Hip Pain Sufferers|
Wright Medical Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: WMGI), a global orthopaedic medical device company, announced today that tennis legend and Wright total hip system recipient Jimmy Connors will be an integral part of the Company's upcoming efforts to educate patients about advances in products and surgical techniques for treatment of chronic hip pain. As a focal point of Wright's education outreach program, Connors' personal story of successful hip surgery is detailed on the website "jimmysnewhip.com," along with other resources for patients who may be exploring surgical options for treatment of their hip pain.
Connors represents a growing number of younger hip pain sufferers. A world-class athlete and winner of over 109 singles titles throughout his 20-year professional tennis career, Connors underwent minimally invasive (MIS) total hip replacement surgery in October of 2005, following years of pain that had slowly robbed him of an active life - including his life on the tennis court. "I wasn't afraid of anything my whole life, my whole career...but the feeling of being scared to death and not wanting to face what was happening was overwhelming...the pain kept getting worse and eventually my quality of life just dove to the point that I didn't want to do anything," he explained in a recent meeting with Wright's distributors and sales representatives.
Connors' damaged hip joint was replaced with Wright's CONSERVE(R) Total large-diameter metal-on-metal femoral head with BFH(R) technology and a PROFEMUR(R) Z modular neck stem. The procedure was performed using Wright's less invasive PATH(TM) technique, developed in conjunction with prominent Los Angeles surgeon Brad Penenberg, M.D. Now less than one year after hip replacement surgery, Connors is already reclaiming his active life both on and off the tennis court. Just six weeks after his MIS hip procedure, he completed filming for a tennis training DVD. Most recently, Connors announced his return to the professional tennis arena as the coach of one of today's top players, Andy Roddick. "What this new hip has done for me is given me back my quality of life," expressed Connors. "It's allowed me to do anything and everything I did before."
Through the new patient education outreach program and Connors' personal experience, Wright hopes to highlight the changing face of hip replacement surgery. As Connors' surgeon, Dr. Penenberg described, "We've moved from a time when total hip replacement meant days of pain, weeks of severely limited activity and function, with restricted movement to reduce the dislocation rate, and months of rehabilitation to achieve optimal results, to a time when a patient can be out of bed within hours of surgery, walking unassisted and back to work and driving within days to weeks." The website "jimmysnewhip.com" and print collateral from Wright will focus on advances like larger diameter femoral heads, modular neck technology and less invasive surgical options and how they may help patients achieve greater mobility with significantly less soft-tissue trauma, recovery time and scarring than what traditional implants and surgical techniques involve.
Commenting on the Company's new partnership with Connors, Wright's President and Chief Executive Officer Gary D. Henley said, "Jimmy has a great and inspiring story to share with people who are living with joint pain, and Wright is excited to have the opportunity to partner with him in sharing that story. Jimmy is known as a passionate competitor on the tennis court and he is bringing that same passion to this effort to educate people about new options for hip surgery. He's truly made it a mission." Connors confirmed his enthusiasm for the new affiliation with Wright by saying, "I am thrilled and excited to be connected with the Company that has given me a second chance to be active, play tennis and return to doing the things I've enjoyed all my life."
Wright Medical Group, Inc. is a global orthopaedic medical device company specializing in the design, manufacture and marketing of reconstructive joint devices and biologics. The Company has been in business for more than 50 years and markets its products in over 60 countries worldwide. For more information about Wright Medical, visit our website at www.wmt.com.
This press release may contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements made in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect management's current knowledge, assumptions, beliefs, estimates, and expectations and express management's current views of future performance, results, and trends. The Company wishes to caution readers that actual results might differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including the factors discussed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (including the Company's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005 under the heading, "Factors Affecting Future Operating Results," and in its quarterly reports), which could cause the Company's actual results to materially differ from those described in the forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes that the forward-looking statements are accurate, there can be no assurance that any forward-looking statement will prove to be accurate. A forward-looking statement should not be regarded as a representation by the Company that the results described therein will be achieved. The Company wishes to caution readers not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement. The forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release. The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement after this date.