By: 10 September 2018
Growing European shoulder implant market experiences a shift in technology

Jesse Spicer and Yulia Sorokina look at trend patterns in the European small joint device market

There is a growing trend towards minimally invasive orthopaedic surgeries in Europe. One of the best examples of this is the increasing acceptance of stemless shoulder implants. However, this trend follows different patterns across various European countries.

As reported by iData Research, the European small joint device market was valued at €520.8 million in 2017. Included in this total market value are the markets for shoulder reconstruction devices, elbow repair devices, hand and wrist devices and foot and ankle devices.

The trend toward stemless shoulder implants introduces an opportunity for manufacturers to enter the market in countries that are in the early stages of adoption. The use of stemless implants is more prominent in countries such as Germany, France, Switzerland and the UK. Conversely, in Italy and Portugal, the adoption of stemless implants is still in the early stages, where surgeons have just begun considering stemless implants for use in shoulder arthroplasty.

While both total shoulder and hemi shoulder implants can be characterised by the shift from stemmed to stemless device designs, the overall trends in these markets are very different. The total shoulder market is expected to continue growing, while the number of hemi shoulder procedures is declining across Europe. This decline is largely associated with unfavourable hemi procedure results and the uptake in reversed implants.


Reversed shoulder implant market is the fastest growing in Europe

The reversed shoulder implant market is one of the most promising segments of the European orthopaedics market. It is forecast by iData Research to be the fastest growing in the shoulder arthroplasty market, which itself is the fastest growing segment of the total extremities market in Europe. Reversed shoulder technology was developed in Europe in the 1980s and is primarily used for patients that would not otherwise benefit from conventional total joint implants. Total shoulder implant procedures were historically the most popular method for shoulder reconstruction in Europe, but has since been surpassed by reversed shoulder implants.

While the European economy is slowly recovering, it continues to limit the market in many European countries. The tender system in a number of European countries is causing deterioration in average selling prices as companies bid against each other to provide the lowest product price possible. This negative effect is marginally dampened by the increased use of premium-priced reversed shoulder implants.


Opportunities for manufacturers of shoulder implants

Despite these potential limitations on pricing, the shoulder implant market presents great opportunities for manufacturers in terms of new device development, as there are still clinical issues in the shoulder segment that cannot be completely solved via existing devices. However, Europe’s Medical Device Regulation, published in May 2017, may hinder product innovation, as this regulation imposes stricter requirements on manufacturers. Manufacturers will have to remain persistent, in order to gain market share.

More research on the shoulder reconstruction market can be found in the full report suite, titled the Europe Market Report Suite for small bone and joint orthopaedic devices, which provides a comprehensive report on units sold, market values, forecasts, average selling prices and procedure volumes, as well as detailed competitive market shares and analysis of all major competitors.



Jesse Spicer is an analyst manager at iData Research. He has been involved in numerous orthopaedic market research projects over many years, and now leads a team involved in that market and many others.

Yulia Sorokina is a research analyst at iData Research. She was the lead researcher on the latest research covering the European Small Joint Devices Market and has a history of other research projects with iData in Orthopaedics.

About iData Research: iData Research is an international consulting and market research firm focused on providing market intelligence for the medical device, dental and pharmaceutical industries.