5 observations on spinal biologics

Laura Dyrda -   Print  |

Here are five trends on the evolution of spinal biologics and what to expect in the future.

1. The volume of elective lumbar fusions is increasing; from 2004 to 2015 the elective lumbar fusion rate jumped 62.3 percent to 199,140 procedures, according to a 2018 study published in Spine. Among patients 65 years old and older, the fusion rate increased 73.2 percent.

2. Elective lumbar fusion hospital cost increased 177 percent from 2004 to 2015, averaging more than $50,000 per admission by the end of the study period. In 2015, total hospital costs reached $10 billion, according to the study in Spine.

3. Around 1.62 million instrumented spinal fusions are performed in the U.S. annually, including multiple procedures during the same operation. iData Research estimates 85.5 percent of the instrumented spinal fusions performed in 2017 were cervical fixation procedures.

4. The spinal biologics market is expected to grow 3.6 percent by 2024, reaching $2.55 billion. There is not intense market competition, although Medtronic had 40 percent market share in 2015. Other players include DePuy Synthes, Stryker and NuVasive, according to a Market Study Report.

5. Several new innovations in the spinal biologics space, including regenerative medicine and treatment for spinal cord injury, are making headway. "A few groups, including ours, are working on total biological disc replacement that will eventually replace cervical disc arthroplasty and maybe even offer new options in the lumbar spine. This is very exciting and will require the combination of biologics, tissue engineering, but possibly also the combined use of other technologies such as resorbables," said Roger Hartl, MD, professor of neurological surgery and director of spine surgery at New York City-based Weill Cornell Medical College.

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