Prosthetics and Orthotics Industry Trends: Increase in Geriatric Population and Rise in Prevalence of Diseases to Drive the Market

Prosthetics enhance the function and lifestyle of persons with limb loss through the usage of artificial limbs (prostheses). In order to match the functional needs of an individual, the prosthesis must be a unique combination of design, materials, alignment, and construction. These functional needs are complex and differ for lower and upper extremities.

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Lower limb prostheses can address stability in walking & standing, energy storage & return, shock absorption, cosmetic appearance, and other functional needs related to jumping, running, and other athletic activities. Upper limb prostheses can address grasping & reaching, certain occupational challenges such as painting, hammering, weightlifting, and daily activities such as writing, eating, and dressing.

Orthotics is a field of medicine concerned with the design, fabrication, and manufacture of artificial devices called orthoses. An orthosis controls deformed or weakened regions of the body of a physically challenged person. It is placed on the body to correct or modify structural and functional characteristics of the skeletal and neuromuscular systems.

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Orthoses can be used to support the limbs of patients suffering from disease or injury through controlling, limiting, guiding, or immobilizing a joint, limb, or body segment. These can be used to enable movement (mechanical), restrict movement, as a rehabilitation device after the removal of a cast, to correct the shape or function of part of the body, to reduce weight bearing pressure, or to ease pain.

According to the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association and the American Diabetes Association (ADA), risk of losing a leg or foot is 15 to 40 times higher among people suffering from diabetes compared to those without the disease. Over 80,000 diabetes-related lower limb amputations are performed in the U.S. each year. Moreover, around 30,000 limb amputations result from peripheral vascular disease each year.

Key drivers of the global prosthetics and orthotics market include increase in geriatric population, rise in prevalence of diseases such as vascular diseases, diabetes, and osteoarthritis, surge in adoption of braces and supports for non-invasive treatment, rise in obesity rates and cost of treatment, increase in incidence of road accidents & sports injuries, surge in awareness, and availability of personalized orthopedic prosthetics. However, unfavorable reimbursement policies, entry barriers in terms of regulatory guidelines, and shortage of well-equipped rehabilitation centers are the factors hampering the growth of the global prosthetics and orthotics market.

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In terms of type, the global prosthetics and orthotics market can be bifurcated into orthotics and prosthetics. Orthotics can be classified into upper limb, lower limb, and spinal orthotics. Prosthetics can be categorized into upper extremity & lower extremity prosthetics, sockets, liners, and modular components. The orthotics segment is projected to lead the global prosthetics and orthotics market due to increase in incidence of sport injuries, rise in prevalence of osteoarthritis, and increase in penetration of orthopedic technology. The upper limb segment is expected to dominate the prosthetics and orthotics market, as these orthotics enable rapid and painless recovery in terms of movement. Based on end-user, the global market can be divided into hospitals, rehabilitation centers, clinics, and others.

In terms of region, the global prosthetics and orthotics market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America is expected to dominate the prosthetics and orthotics market during the forecast period due to well-established and well-equipped health care infrastructure, favorable reimbursement policies, and rise in research and development activities. Asia Pacific is projected to be the fastest growing market for prosthetics and orthotics due to rise in diabetes-related amputations, increase in the number of road accidents, and initiatives taken by governments.

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Key players operating in the global prosthetics and orthotics market are Össur Corporate, Zimmer Biomet, Blatchford Group, Fillauer LLC, Ottobock, The Ohio Willow Wood Company, Ultraflex Systems, Howard Orthopedics, Inc., Touch Bionics, Inc., and Bauerfeind USA, Inc. These players have adopted strategies such as partnerships, agreements, collaborations, and new product development to gain competitive advantage in the global market.

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