A recent online survey named Stryker and Zimmer as the top brands of choice among orthopaedic surgeons across the country. Reasons include the opinion that Stryker doesn’t “go along with the crowd” and Zimmer has a long track record of providing knee implants that have longevity and customization.
During the past decade, total knee replacements (TKRs) have improved to give patients more natural joint motion and have enabled them to return to daily activities in a matter of days. The age demographic for these devices has changed as well. “Today, knee replacements are designed with a younger, more active patient in mind,” a Stryker Orthopaedics spokesperson tells OrthoTec. “As the patient population continues to change, orthopaedic technologies will need to continue to evolve to meet the demands of the new generation of patients. We believe that the industry will continue to collaborate with surgeons to drive innovation and develop groundbreaking technologies that can address the leading clinical issues facing orthopaedists today.”
Although there is a perception that orthopaedic devices lack innovation, Stryker doesn’t agree. The company points to the recent survey, conducted by MedPanel LLC and published by MassDevice, in which orthopaedic surgeons identified manufacturers that they think are leaders in novel hip and knee implants. The survey, the first of an ongoing series, was filled out by 62 orthopaedic surgeons. They named Stryker as the second most innovative manufacturer of knee implants (Zimmer took the top spot), and the company came in number one as the most innovative hip implant manufacturer.
Much of the efforts to develop improved TKRs come from making a significant investment in R&D. According to MedPanel, Stryker allocated 5.4% of its revenue to R&D last year, while Zimmer put 5.2% of its revenue toward these efforts. As for the future of TKRs, Stryker predicts the focus of the devices will be new implant bearing surfaces, increased longevity, enhanced fit, and customization.