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Orthopedic and Dental Industry News Complete Archive »

Hip Resurfacing in the U.S.? BY JOHN CHOPACK, JUNE 8, 2005

About six months ago I had an individual come into my office asking about an article he had recently read in a local newspaper regarding hip resurfacing. The man was approximately 40 years old and was too young for a total hip replacement, however, his hip pain was preventing him from keeping his daily exercise routine. He seemed very intrigued about the hip resurfacing procedure, enough so that I helped him put a call into the leading clinician for Wright Medical's clinical trial. Although I haven't followed up with him (and I will after writing this), I believe he was going ahead with the surgery.

This raised an interesting question in my mind. Why has hip resurfacing technology been available in Europe for over a decade, yet, not available to the broader U.S. patient population? I went back and looked at the advertisements in the two most recent British editions of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. Both Biomet and Zimmer were advertising their hip resurfacing products. Biomet and Zimmer, both U.S. headquartered companies, are selling what many believe to be the next innovative hip introduction in Europe, yet neither are close to market introduction of these products in the U.S. In fact, Biomet, Zimmer, Wright Medical, Smith & Nephew and Stryker all have these technologies available for sale in Europe.

Chalk it up as another situation where technological penetration in European patient population far exceeds that of the U.S.

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