GlobalData Plc

The European wrist replacement space, which covers 21 markets, is set to rise from $10.4 million in 2016 to around $13.3 million by 2023, representing a compound annual growth rate of 3.5%, according to GlobalData, a recognized leader in providing business information and analytics.

The company’s latest report states that there will be a steady adoption of wrist replacement procedures over the forecast period due to demographic and lifestyle changes as, compared to past years, people tend to engage in competitive sports and other intense physical activities from an earlier age and until later in life.

Tobe Madu, MSc, Healthcare Analyst for GlobalData, explains: “These trends mean there will be an expected increase in the incidence of wrist-related sports injuries in addition to normal degradation of the joint due to aging. However, the wrist still accounts for a relatively small portion of the orthopedics market as major companies have historically chosen to focus on more lucrative hip, knee, and shoulder implants.

“As wrist replacement procedures are particularly niche, the development and marketing of a new implant requires immense financial resources for what could potentially be a very low payoff. Although entry into the market is relatively easy, penetration is more difficult, so acquisitions are likely in this highly fragmented, fast-evolving extremities space.”

Most of the wrist replacement market is occupied by a few players, including Stryker, Zimmer Biomet, Wright Medical, and Integra LifeSciences. These companies are dominant in the medical device industry with significant clinical research data driving product adoption, as well as expansive sales and distribution networks. In Europe, Wright Medical, Stryker and Zimmer Biomet hold close to three-quarters of the market share for small joints which consists of digit, wrist and elbow articulations.

Madu explains: “Innovation as well as good educational and technical support from these manufacturers can significantly accelerate the uptake of new technologies. GlobalData believes there is a need for technology development in the bearing surface and the fixation of the hand component of wrist implants, and key companies have incentives to invest in the preoperative training of surgeons.

“Old and new medical device companies looking to enter the small joint replacement market should understand that the market will only enjoy better growth through well-designed teaching seminars and efficient communication with surgeons.”

Information based on GlobalData’s report: MediPoint: Wrist Replacement-Europe Analysis and Market Forecasts.

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