The Top 10
The orthopedic industry’s largest firms continueto find ways to grow.
Editorial Director, Medical Device Group: Christopher Delporte • Managing Editor: Michael Barbella
Contributing Writer: Jim Stommen
How to grow a business. Such a challenge has vexed entrepreneurs since the earliest days of trading. The solutions are asvaried and complex (or as simple and straightforward) as the companies implementing them. Some grow by acquisition,others through consolidation and streamlining. One of the safest bets always has been and continues to be innovation—a new technology, product or surgical procedure usually will trigger a boost in sales, however minimal. Many of the companies on this year’s list grew revenue through new product introductions (Stryker Corp. took the practice to an extreme, developing technologies that produced 108 new U.S. patents), but their respective windfalls did not come without a price. Newcomers to the product pipeline don’t come free, after all. They usually result from years of research and millions of dollars in development and clinical trial costs, affirming the fundamental yet oxymoronic lesson about business investments: Companies that spend money make money. Though it can seem detrimental, even downright absurd to risk millions on a medical product that may not dazzle customers, savvy CEOs and CFOsrealize that investing in innovation is an investment in their companies’ future. And that usually turns out to be the smartest type ofinvestment. Also in this year’s report, four up-and-coming companies are profiled. They are betting that they can take on the big guys (or perhaps be acquired by them) with the prowess their new orthopedic offerings.