Much of the attention in medical device news (and our blog is no exception) tends to go toward new, dynamic, ?sexy? markets featuring new technologies and changing competitive landscapes. This, however, often means that a lot of important markets?those that have already gone through their exciting growth phase years ago?are overlooked.
So today I want to bring some focus on a market that doesn?t often make headline news these days: the trauma device market. Trauma devices aren?t the most terribly exciting of devices in principle?we?re talking the various nails, screws, and plates that are used to put your broken bones back together. But they are definitely highly necessary. About 1.35 million trauma procedures were performed in the US alone in 2012, leading to a $3 billion dollar market that year. Many important medtech manufacturers compete in this space, including DePuy Synthes, Stryker, Zimmer, and Smith & Nephew.
And unlike many other fairly mature medical device markets, the trauma device market is mustering faster growth than one might expect based on population growth and price competition among established manufacturers. There has been some innovation in this space, such as anatomic plating systems, which are customized for certain indications and better contoured to the bones. Intramedullary (IM) nails are also being increasingly adopted; these devices are less invasive than standard plates and screws because they are inserted from one end of the bone through the medullary canal. In particular, cephalomedullary nails (IM nails used in the femur) have had a recent boost due to the release of clinical data
showing that these products are effective at treating intertrochanteric fractures. Previously, using IM nails in this indication was thought to be associated with a higher risk of complications
So although it might not feature the most exciting devices, the trauma device market is definitely not one to be overlooked. Manufacturers can find opportunities here if they can develop more minimally invasive and effective ways to treat fractures. With steady 5% growth, the market will approach an impressive value of $4 billion in 2017?and that's only looking at the US.