Need Another Arthroscopy Devices Market Report?

A company called “Research and Markets” has announced the addition of a new report to its portfolio. “Arthroscopy Devices Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast to 2019” details the ever-upward trajectory expected for a surgical discipline that continues to grow across the world.


You can probably write this bit yourself if you’ve ever brushed against the arthroscopy market. Here, after all is a therapeutic area that has enjoyed meteoric growth to gold standard status as quickly as any, based on a combination of technology and more active lifestyles and aging populations, coupled with the appeal of minimally invasive approaches to conditions that would once have been either untreatable or suffer poor outcomes.

According to this new report, “the rise in technological advances and the growing importance of sports activities among the young as well as the older generation has fuelled the growth of the arthroscopy devices market”. No great surprise there, especially when backed up with data from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stating that high school athletes alone accounts for 2 million injuries, 50,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations each year in the U.S.

Compounding this effect, the report states that “elderly and obese populations have been observed to be highly prone to degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other trauma injuries”, although surely ’twas ever thus. The issue now is that some of these conditions firstly “can” be treated arthoscopically to an extent and secondly, folk are simply living linger and doing more things in their older age.

The report says stringent regulatory procedures for the approval of devices along with unfavorable reimbursement policies in developed countries have negatively affected the growth in these regions, although in our experience this stringency doesn’t normally extend to low risk kit like arthroscopy instrumentation. More likely in our view is the simple fact that developing countries take a while to, how can we say it, develop.

Arthroscopic procedures, while mainly performed on knee and shoulder, are seeing growth from extension into other joints. Hip, wrist, ankle and elbow are now routinely ‘scoped, again fuelling growth in device sales in the specialty. We say that..the report seemingly doesn’t, although we only have the abstract that is the press release to go on.

So while the obvious statement to make is that arthroscopic procedures are minimally invasive in nature and therefore confer advantages such as shorter hospital stay, minimal incision, less post-surgical complications and shorter recovery time, this is stuff we’ve all known for decades now. What’s driving the undeniable continued growth, in our view, is not the advantage of MIS surgery per se, but the adoption of these techniques across developing countries, coupled with extension into other joints.

So, what does the report actually contain? Well, hopefully more than it’s PR fluff promises, which is confused (arthroscopes = cameras!?) and looks a bit off the mark in many respects.

The report says the arthroscopic visualization system market is expected to grow at the highest rate of all the arthroscopic device segments, more than 9% from 2013 to 2019. We doubt that, frankly. The kit exploion, even in the developing world, happened a while ago, an technological developments aren’t so rapid that equipment becomes obsolete. On the contrary, ask Sony this if you don’t believe it…electronic stuff gets cheaper. The report then states that arthroscopic radiofrequency ablation system will be next in line in terms of growth rate and is expected to reach a market size of more than USD 230 million by 2019. That might be right. What’s probably also right is the assertion that the arthroscopic shavers market is estimated to have the slowest growth of the total arthroscopic devices market during the forecast period. Shavers remain the meat and drink of the arthrosopy medtech device sector, even in the face of ablation systems, and we think it’ll still be a grower as it’s the least expensive way for developing markets to remove any amount of injurious soft tissue from the inside of the joint.

Geographically the report says the North American market accounted for the largest share of arthroscopy devices of the global arthroscopy devices in 2012, followed by Europe and Asia. The Asian market is undoubtedly expected to enjoy the highest growth in coming years.

Companies Mentioned in the report include all the usual suspects, namely: Arthrex, Inc., ArthroCare Corporation., Conmed Corporation., J&J’s DePuy Synthes, Inc., Smith & Nephew plc (soon to be new owner of ArthroCare), Stryker Corporation.

So there you have it. Our dissection of a slightly rubbish press release about a report that will no doubt be brilliant. If you’re interested in learning more, the company press release points you here.

Source: Research and Markets, PR Newswire

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