Medtech research firm Millenium Research Group (MRG) has indicated the minimally invasive surgery (MIS) spine technology market in the United States will grow to almost $2 billion by 2017. Currently, the market is valued at approximately $1.3 billion. Most of this growth will come from expansion of the largest segment, the minimally invasive spinal fusion market, but the less mature facet fixation segment also will experience significant revenue growth.
The Toronto, Canada-based firm reported that some physicians remain cautious because MIS spine techniques require extensive training; a lack of familiarity can negatively affect outcomes as well as increase procedure time. Some physicians also highlight a shortage of clinical data supporting both the short- and long-term efficacy of these procedures, which has led to a lack of reimbursement for some products.
There are, however, a number of minimally invasive spinal fusion clinical trials happening currently that may change the environment for MI spine technology, analysts noted. One example is NuVasive’s study comparing traditional open posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) with NuVasive’s MI Maximum Access Surgery PLIF variant, which is expected to be complete by 2014. Favorable results in this study and others like it are expected to positively influence the volume of minimally invasive procedures involving spinal technologies.
“Facet fixation will be the fastest growing segment in this market,” said MRG Analyst Rene Azeez. “This growth is primarily because companies are increasing efforts to provide surgeons with training. The relative simplicity and minimally invasive nature of the surgery, coupled with favorable reimbursement and mounting favorable clinical evidence all support its adoption. We’ll see a number of innovative products introduced, such as VG Innovations’ VerteLoc [version] 2.5, which claims to improve ease‐of‐use and facilitate enhanced patient outcomes.”
VG’s VerteLoc device is a minimally invasive dual geometric facet joint implant comprised of human allograft bone—biologics is another expanding field in orthopedics.
MRG claims NuVasive is the current market leader, but that competition will intensify as other companies recognize the enormous potential of the MI spine market, particularly in lucrative high-growth segments such as facet fixation and MI transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion and lateral lumbar interbody fusion.