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Industry        Surgeon

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Simple Systems Fuel Growth in Foot and Ankle Market

Posted in Research to Reality | Aug 2015 | Comments (0)

Tags: medical device developmentsurgical techniquesorthopaedic technologyorthopaedic industry trendsminimally invasive

Simple, cost-effective and outcomes based – these phrases consistently arise when discussing trends in orthopaedic devices, due to price pressures and other shifts in healthcare. The foot and ankle market is no exception.

The demand for minimally invasive treatments in the segment exemplifies this.

“Implants will continue to get refined,” says Selene Parekh, M.D., a foot and ankle surgeon at North Carolina Orthopaedic Clinic, Associate Professor at Duke University and Clinical Advisor at Excelerate Health Ventures. “There were new minimally invasive plates available for calcaneal fractures and subtalar fusion introduced at this year’s AAOS meeting."

Dr. Selene_ParekhParekh predicts a move to more personalized treatment in the foot and ankle segment.

“What we’re trying to understand with injuries—and it depends on how you classify injuries, for instance, as fractures versus tendon work – some of the things we’re seeing with Achilles tendon ruptures is the age-old discussion of whether surgery is better versus no surgery,” Parekh says. “The same kind of discussion is happening for injuries of the heel, the calcaneus. We continue to see evidence for and against, to treat these injuries surgically or not. My opinion is that we’ll eventually start refining our treatments such that we won’t tell the patient, ‘You have a calcaneus fracture/Achilles tendon rupture; you do (or don’t) need surgery.’ I think we’ll start doing personalized treatments, taking into consideration the patient’s lifestyle, maybe even some of his genetic makeup and co-morbidities and take the approach of, ‘The data for this patient population suggests that you need surgery, while the data for this other population indicates that you don’t need surgery,” and we will start doing personalized healthcare based on data that hopefully will continue to be available to us.”

To further explore the state of the foot and ankle market, ORTHOPRENEUR gathered insight from orthopaedic device manufacturers with a presence in the segment.

Participants included:
Albert DaCosta, Chief Executive Officer, Paragon 28
Nick A. Deeter, CEO and Chairman, Nextremity Solutions
Tom Ross, Chief Operating Officer, PONTiS Orthopaedics

ORTHOPRENEUR: What trends do you see in the foot and ankle market?

DaCosta: We see trends shifting more toward the instrumentation that supports the implants. By creating more procedure-specific instrumentation, we’re reducing OR time. We’re also creating more reproducible results. When I say reproducible results, it’s important that we understand surgeons at different levels in their career—those who are entering private practice versus those who have done hundreds of these cases. I think we’re benefitting both of those segments when we introduce systems that more appropriately support these procedures.

Nick Deeter_Nextremity_crop
One trend that we’ve seen is a higher expectation, by both surgeons and patients, for solutions that provide a shorter recovery time and reduce pain. Today’s patients are increasingly active; it’s important that they return to their daily activities as quickly and painlessly as possible. Surgeons see this need and demand that the standard of care be improved so they can deliver positive outcomes to their patients.


Tom Ross_crop
The trend in foot and ankle surgery, as within all of orthopaedics and sports medicine, is toward less invasive procedures aimed at producing great results with faster recovery times. Patients want smaller incisions that heal quickly and leave minimal scar tissue. that allow them to return to work or personal activities as fully and quickly as possible.

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