From “Worldwide Spine Surgery: Products, Technologies, Markets & Opportunities, 2010-2020”, Report #M520, published 2011 by MedMarekt Diligence:
Vertebral compression fractures result primarily from osteoporosis and the consequent weakening of bones, including those in the spine. VCFs can result in tremendous back pain both in the short and long term. Because the injured vertebra is compressed and loses height, kyphotic deformity of that particular vertebra and the spine as a whole often results. Kyphosis in and of itself can produce pain long after the vertebral compression fracture has healed. As discussed earlier, several conditions can lead to osteoporosis, including estrogen deficiency, multiple myeloma, radiation therapy, and natural aging. Bones weakened either due to the primary disease process or as a result of treatment of such diseases are more prone to fracture. Common sites osteoporotic fracture include the spine, hip, and wrist.
The traditional treatment for VCFs is conservative care with back braces, bed rest, and analgesic medications for alleviating pain. Although given time the fracture eventually heals, the vertebral body remains in a collapsed, compressed state. This can result in prolonged pain, impaired function, and decreased activity. Additionally, bone and muscle loss resulting from a lack of activity can make recovery even more difficult, leading to the so-called ‘downward spiral’ of vertebral osteoporosis.
In recent years, two minimally invasive procedures have been introduced to treat VCFs: vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. The procedures are very different, in that vertebroplasty is designed to stabilize the break, while kyphoplasty attempts to both stabilize the break and bring the collapsed vertebra back to its original height.
Companies with products in vertebroplasty and/or kyphoplasty on the market or under development include: Alphatec, ArthroCare, AscendX, Benvenue Medical, Biomet, BoneSupport, CareFusion, Cook, DePuy Spine, Dfine, Integra Spine, Lafitt, Medtronic, Orthovita, Osseon Therapeutics, Signus, Sintea, Skeltex, Soteira, Spine Wave, SpineAlign, Stryker, Synthes, Tecres, Teknimed, Vexim.
Kyphoplasty is currently the bigger market, but trends in procedure volume, pricing and unit sales are causing the gap in global market between kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty to disappear during the forecast period.