TJR Market: Pressure on All Fronts
Aging baby boomers spell good news for the $11 billion total joint replacement industry. The bad news is the economic burden this highly active population, the major recipients of joint replacement surgeries, will place on the nation's health care system. With the number of TJR procedures expected to soar in the coming years, it's no surprise that CMS is focused on reducing the costs of TJR procedures. And that's bad news for the orthopedic surgeons who perform them.
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Despite orthopedic surgeons' conservative reputation when it comes to new technology adoption, high-tech devices are increasingly finding a place in this field. There have been recent developments in robotic computer-assisted surgery and other high-tech enabling tools that could lead to wider acceptance of these devices by surgeons better known in the past for eschewing such "frills." Although there are exceptions, most manufacturers seeking success in this market appear to have learned from the mistakes of the past, and many, instead of offering technology for technology's sake, are now trying to provide surgeons with what they really want - products that offer a value-added benefit to their practice.
With few new treatment options on the horizon for patients suffering from joint pain associated with hip and knee osteoarthritis, it should come as no surprise that the business of joint replacement is booming and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Even in the current economic environment where elective joint replacement procedures are likely to slow down, there has not (yet) been a significant impact on implant sales.The industry admits it is not immune to the global economic crisis, at least in the short term. However, over the long haul, the general consensus is that this market will remain strong owing to solid growth in the patient pool.
Vertebral compression fracture repair remains one of the fastest growing segments of the spinal market. Although the VCF industry as a whole remains strong, competitive dynamics in this industry are beginning to shift, with a growing number of new products now available to address this expanding market.