Albany, NY -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/01/2014 -- Vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) or spine fractures, as they are commonly called, are instances of a broken bone or cracked vertebrae in the spine. VCFs commonly occur in people having osteoporosis and low bone density. However, severe trauma such as accidents, sports injury or a hard fall and metastatic tumors are common reasons for VCFs.
Clinical symptoms of VCFs may include sudden onset of back pain, limited spinal mobility, increase in pain while standing or walking, disability and deformity of the vertebrae over time, eventual vertebral height loss and medical conditions like kyphosis, segmental instability and neurological complications.
Though nonsurgical ways of treating VCFs such as medication, exercises, bracing and bed rest are widely prevalent, surgical ways such as kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty have also evolved as valuable adjunctive treatment options. are also increasingly gaining popularity for treating complex cases where non-surgical methods fail to benefit.
Kyphoplasty involve percutaneous cannulation of the vertebral fracture by placing an inflatable bone tamp (a balloon like structure) into the fracture. This helps in restoring the original height of the vertebrae, which is then injected with bone cement. Vertebroplasty, on the other hand, involves direct percutaneous injection of bone cement on the vertebral fracture.
Vertebroplasty helps in relieving pain and enhancing mobility in patients while Kyphoplasty also helps in restoring the height of the deformed vertebrae, thus assisting in the cure of kyphosis. Complication rates of less than 2 percent for osteoporotic VCFs and upto 10 percent for VCFs due to malignant tumors, patient testimonials of significant pain relief and rise in physical functioning along with advancements in the technology used for treatment have all resulted in the popularity of these treatments over the past few decades.
However, a comparatively lower complication rate post procedure and additional benefits such as restoration of vertebral height have resulted in a higher adoption rate of kyphoplasty procedures over vertebroplasty throughout the world, particularly in North America. Considering this popularity of the procedure and its obvious advantages over vertebroplasty, its market share in the coming future is estimated to be increasing rapidly. In 2011, the global market for kyphoplasty was worth USD 555.4 million.
The international market of minimally invasive VCF repair is highly secure in nature. There only a handful of vendors that are well established and dominate the market by capturing over 80% of its share. The existence of only a few market players has resulted in an intensive competitive rivalry among the players. The market is further characterized by activities such as acquisitions, long term supply agreements and partnerships. The major companies that dominate this market include Medtronic Inc., Cook Medical Inc., CareFusion Corporation, DFine, Inc., Zimmer Holdings, DePuySynthes Inc., among few others.
Owing to the early launch of innovative products and techniques in the US, it is no surprise that the country is the current market leader of the minimally invasive VCF repair market. Existence of factors such as high awareness about VCF conditions and the treatments available and a supportive economic base particularly in the form of well-defined medical re-imbursement policies has also proved instrumental in the growth of the minimally invasive VCF repair market in the US. However, developing economies such as China, Japan, India, Korea are observed as potentially emerging markets owing to the aging population, increase in general awareness about osteoporosis and development in healthcare facilities in these countries.
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