There’s some good news for manufacturers of spinal fusion devices. Orthopaedic Magazine Orthotec.com reports that although many patients are leaving USA and going overseas to have spinal surgery, the fusion market itself is in decent shape. By 2017, the global spinal fusion market is expected to hit $11.7 billion. The 10% CAGR can be attributed to two common themes—the aging population and minimally invasive surgery—as well as emerging markets that are currently underpenetrated. According to Global Data, emerging markets like Brazil and India are seeing quite a bit of medical tourism and in some instances, patients are seeking spinal surgery in other countries due to the high cost of healthcare in the United States. The industry analysis firm estimates that when factoring travel costs, hospital stay, and related expenses, a patient can achieve an 80% cost saving when having surgery in India compared to costs in the United States. In Brazil, a patient can save 50-60% on surgery.
Regardless of where patients go to have spinal fusion, steady growth is anticipated for the market. The demand for pedicle screw systems should rise in the United States and, on a global scale, the market is expected to benefit from higher rates of spinal disorders experienced by the elderly (especially in Japan, Germany, Italy, France, and the United States).