Zimmer Holdings, Inc., announced today that it has established a dedicated business team to maximize the potential patient benefits of applying minimally invasive surgical techniques to orthopaedic surgery. The company also says it will create a medical education process, the MIS™ Minimally Invasive Solutions Institute, to help facilitate training for surgeons and other medical professionals on the procedures required for minimally invasive procedures.”The results we’ve seen to date with minimally invasive hip evaluations-some patients released the same day as surgery-and the tremendous growth we’ve seen with the minimally invasive unicompartmental knee procedure, establish Zimmer as the leader in this movement,” said Zimmer Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ray Elliott. “We intend to leverage that strength and devote key financial and human resources to further developing procedures and lifestyle products that have these same kind of dramatic patient benefits.” Zimmer is currently working with three major medical centers to evaluate and refine an advanced minimally invasive hip replacement procedure. The goals of the effort are to reduce the hardships of having a total hip replacement, such as the time a patient must spend in rehabilitation.
“Today’s orthopaedic patient has different needs when compared to patients just five years ago. This ‘new orthopaedic patient’ is younger or has remained active later in life, and is unwilling to accept the pain and functional limitations imposed by arthritis,” said Sheryl Conley, Vice President, Global Brand Management and Commercialization, for Zimmer. “We want to help these patients return to their daily activities of life without the weeks of therapy associated with traditional procedures. Total joint replacement is today a very effective surgical intervention in terms of restoring function and reducing pain-we think it can be made even better by minimizing the effects of the surgery itself.” The Zimmer MIS Minimally Invasive Solutions team will focus both on further commercializing existing minimally invasive approaches and investigating ways to apply minimally invasive principles to additional procedures. “Cardiology and general surgery have been revolutionized by use of minimally invasive techniques,” said Paul Hickey, who has been appointed Business Director of the Zimmer MIS Minimally Invasive Solutions effort. “We believe the same opportunities exist in orthopaedics, and we intend to make sure Zimmer continues to lead the industry in developing those opportunities and working with surgeons to change how orthopaedic surgery is done.” A distinct medical education process, The Zimmer Institute will also be created to facilitate the training required for these procedures. “At this point in their development, minimally invasive procedures are still very technically demanding,” said Hickey. “We want to make sure that surgeons have access to the best thinking of the surgeon developers of these techniques. The Institute will provide a unique and dedicated vehicle for that learning process.” One of the surgical approaches employed for the MIS hip procedure uses two small portals, each less than two inches in diameter. Standard implants are used in the procedure. The incision for a traditional, open hip replacement is as much as 12 inches long. Other less invasive approaches, such a “mini” incision are also being evaluated. More information about the MIS hip and MIS unicompartmental knee procedures can be found at www.pacewithlife.com.
Zimmer, based in Warsaw, Indiana, is a global leader in the design, development, manufacturing and marketing of orthopaedic reconstructive implants and fracture management products. Orthopaedic reconstructive implants restore joint function lost due to disease or trauma in joints such as knees, hips, shoulders and elbows. Fracture management products are devices used primarily to reattach or stabilize damaged bone and tissue to support the body’s natural healing process. Zimmer also manufactures and markets other products related to orthopaedic and general surgery. Zimmer was founded in 1927 and has more than 3,200 employees worldwide. For the year 2000, Zimmer recorded worldwide revenues of more than $1 billion. Zimmer became an independent, publicly traded company on August 7, 2001, when it was spun off from Bristol-Myers Squibb.