Research and Markets, the worlds largest research markets firm, has just announced the addition of the “Global Orthopedic Biomaterials Market 2014-2018” report to their offerings.
The report deals with orthopedic biomaterials used in implant devices, and the emerging advances in technology and new biomaterial products. It will specifically evaluate third-generation biomaterials such as glass-ceramics and bioactive glasses. Other issues addressed in the report are market challenges arising from the risk of complications associated with implantation such as fatigue, fracture, wear problems due to differences in orthopedic biomaterials, biocompatibility, and environmental stress.
It is a comprehensive examination that is long overdue, particularly in light of the failure of second-generation metal-on-metal hip implants. The hip joints, once believed to revolutionize the industry, have become
the biggest medical device failure in history, leaving in their wake thousands of ruined lives.
When they were introduced metal hip replacements weren’t required to undergo clinical trials before receiving approval from the FDA. Without any rigorous independent testing that would have uncovered the dangers of metal-on-metal joints, the responsibility fell on the companies that manufactured them to insure their safety. In almost every case they failed miserably and decisions were made based on profits rather than the health and safety of the patients they served.
Companies who produced these flawed implants, such as DePuy, Stryker, Zimmer, and Wright, are now embroiled in costly product liability lawsuits because of the lax oversight and absence of quality research originally done on metal-on-metal hip implants. Profits, not sound science and research, drove their decision-making and ultimately it was their patients who suffered because of this.
The increasing incidence of orthopedic-related conditions among our growing elder population is creating a greater demand for hip implants. The failure of metal-on-metal implants will require manufacturers to begin exploring the use of new biomaterials and technologies. Independent research and analysis will be critical in ensuring the safety and health of future patients.