Continued pressure to reduce the number of people waiting for joint replacement surgery has been paralleled by a spurt in total knee and hip replacement procedures from major joint replacement centres to more general acute hospitals. This has reduced waiting times, augmented the number of procedures being carried out and has stimulated market growth.
Revision surgery is emerging as a key growth segment in the overall market. Although primary joint replacement has established a success rate of nearly 95 percent over the past decade, the number of revision total joint replacements (TJR) is increasing. The annual growth rate for revision implant products during the past several years has been estimated at nearly twelve percent to 15 percent, more than double the growth rate for primary implants over the same time frame.
Technological advances in materials, operative procedures, product design and manufacturing processes are also providing impetus to market development. Novel manufacturing techniques such as CAD/CAM, new materials technology such as bone substitutes, bio-absorbable products and specialised alloys and innovative joint replacement product designs, which support improved performance characteristics and/or multiple applicability, are contributing to overall market value.
Medical robotics, computer-assisted surgery including image-guided technologies, minimally invasive joint replacement surgery and bio-engineered technologies also represent notable technological progress. Although currently in use, their further advance is projected to significantly influence the development and design of new innovative products.
"The challenge to industry is to overcome some of the natural prejudices that the surgeons may have concerning robotics and computer assistance during surgery and ensure that implant technologies complement the use of computers during surgery", cautions Frost & Sullivan Industry Manager Tanya Pullen. "In addition, companies need to address issues of safety as there is an urgent requirement for a consensus on what is safe practice concerning both human-guided and autonomous robots as well as concerns and misconceptions related to robots replacing surgeons in the operating theatre."
Another challenge relates to national arthroplasty registers that identify best performing products and surgical techniques and analyse patient outcomes. In this context, the industry needs to ensure that they involve themselves with the creation and development of the joint registers even as they comply with the findings of the existing registers.
Currently the larger segment, the total hip replacement market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3,7 percent from 2003 to 2010 to reach USD 885,7 million. Growing at a faster CAGR of 5,7 percent, the total knee replacement market is set to overtake the former, accounting for 51,6 percent of market revenues or USD 945,3 million in 2010.
The competitive landscape has been shaped by a series of major acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures. Prominent examples of this trend have been the joint venture between Biomet and Merck, the acquisition of DePuy by Johnson & Johnson (J&J), that of Howmedica by Stryker with the formation of Stryker (Howmedica Osteonics) and most recently the acquisition of Centerpulse by Zimmer.
These structural changes have led to a streamlining of operational logistics including restructuring of manufacturing and sales and marketing activities together with a rationalisation of the product portfolio and product group responsibilities.
"In addition, the market has seen a slow but deliberate emphasis away from the use of local distributors, a consolidation of related orthopaedic products and service activities and a greater emphasis on supplying the market directly through subsidiaries", commented Ms. Pullen. "This is seen as being a method of improving profit margins and retaining greater operational control of distribution and customer service."
If you are interested in an analysis overview providing an introduction into the "European Market for Hip and Knee Replacements", you can send an e-mail to Katja Feick, Corporate Communications at Frost & Sullivan with the following information: Full name, Company Name, Title, Contact Tel. Number, and e-mail. Upon receipt of the above information, an overview will be e-mailed to you.