By: 15 February 2013
Joint market set to surge ahead

Innovative surgery and devices see hip and knee reconstructive surgery take steps forward

The joint reconstruction market is standing up to meet demand, as hip and knee surgeries become less of a last resort and more of a lifestyle choice, according to a new report by healthcare experts GBI Research.

The new report states that conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis are becoming increasingly common due to longer life expectancies. Technological advances are also encouraging younger individuals with joint problems to undergo reconstructive treatment sooner rather than later.

Surgeons are rapidly adopting innovative, minimally invasive joint reconstruction procedures, making treatment outcomes more reliable. This encourages patients to opt for early surgical intervention while they are young, allowing them to maintain active and healthy lifestyles. The emergence of new procedures such as hip resurfacing and partial knee replacements allow degenerative conditions to be addressed at various points of severity, and new implant materials can resist wear and tear, therefore promising long-term utility.

Accelerated development
Research into the development of minimally invasive procedures will accelerate technological innovation in the joint reconstruction devices market. Anterior hip replacement surgery, Percutaneously Assisted Total Hip (PATH), and quadriceps-sparing total knee replacements all utilise minimally invasive surgical techniques. Minimally invasive hip and knee replacement procedures require smaller incisions than traditional techniques, and different entry points are used for access, minimising blood loss and injury to muscles and tendons. Minimally invasive surgery also allows natural movement to return more quickly, cutting down on hospital stays and recovery times, and improving patient comfort.
Product innovations are enabling physicians to optimise these procedures, as modular designs allow different components of the implants to be put together during surgery. New implant materials are also improving implant longevity, as the use of different bearing surface materials has achieved low rates of wear and improved strength, allowing new implants to last for up to 25 years compared to conventional devices’ lifespan of 15 years.

The dominant players in the joint reconstruction (hip and knee devices) market as of 2011 are Zimmer, DePuy, Stryker, Smith & Nephew and Biomet. However, an increasing number of product recalls and product alerts from regulatory authorities must also be addressed by the companies. High rates of product alerts and recalls due to device failures are hindering market growth, with metal toxicity, device loosening, dislocation and infection representing common concerns associated with joint reconstructive treatment.

GBI Research expects the global market for hip and knee reconstruction devices to grow in value from an estimated $13.5 billion in 2011 to $17.5 billion by 2018, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.7%.