Collapse of the vertebrae due to trauma, osteoporosis or other causes of weakening of the vertebrae is known as vertebral compression fracture (VCF). VCF is more common in people with low bone mass or suffering from osteoporosis. Some of the common symptoms of VCF include, back pain lasting for more than 2-3 weeks, limited spinal mobility, vertebral height loss over time and kyphosis, disability and deformity over a period of time. Vertebral compression fracture is treated primarily with pharmacological therapy and prolonged bed rest. Surgically, VCFs are treated with minimally invasive VCF repair techniquesin cases where medicinal therapies fail to cure VCF.
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Minimally invasive vertebral compression repair techniques include two procedures, namely, vertebroplasty and balloon kyphoplasty. Both vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty involve injection of medical grade cement in the fractured vertebra. Kyphoplasty is a newer and evolved form of vertebroplasty, where a balloon is inserted in the vertebral body and inflated to restore the original height of the collapsed vertebra and is thereafter followed by cement injection.
Vertebroplasty successfully relives pain and enhances mobility of the patient; while on the other hand, balloon kyphoplasty not only relives the pain but also restores vertebral height and assists in curing kyphosis. Kyphoplasty has also demonstrated a lesser complication rate post procedurewhen compared with vertebroplasty. This has over the time resulted in higher adoption of kyphoplasty procedures worldwide, particularly in North America.
One of the major factors that is contributing to rapid increase in the adoption of kyphoplastyprocedure in North America is the recommendation of the use of this technique by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS)for VCF repair when conventional drug administration fails to deliver the desired results. Considering the advantages of kyphoplasty over vertebroplasty, the kyphoplasty market share will rapidly increase in the near future. The global market for balloon kyphoplasty was worth USD 555.4 millionin 2011.
The global minimally invasive VCF repair market is highly consolidated in nature with a handful of companies capturing over 80% of the market share. Well established market players dominate this market with their proprietary products and predatory growth strategies. This market is further characterized by large scale consolidation and collaborative activities such as acquisitions, supply agreements and partnerships. Local players observed to dominate the Latin American countries mainly, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, particularly in the supply of medical grade bone cement. Existence of limited market players has further resulted in increasing price competition among the players, thereby intensifying the competitive rivalry.
Geographically, North America dominates the global minimally invasive vertebral compression fracture repair market and is followed by Europe. Aging of global population and thereby increasing prevalence of osteoporosis is driving the growth of minimally invasive vertebral compression fracture repair market. Moreover, early introduction of technologically advanced products, well evolved reimbursement policies and existence of a large pool of Medicare dependent geriatric population are the major growth drivers for the North American minimally invasive VCF repair market.
Asia-Pacific is reported to be a lucrative market owing to high prevalence of osteoporosis and existence of large geriatric and osteoporotic population in countries such as China, Japan, Korea and India. Contribution and market share of the Asian countries in minimally invasive vertebral compression fracture repair market is expected to increase with rapidly booming medical tourism industry in this region. Growing awareness about vertebral compression fracture and increase in the number of research activities in exploring other applications of vertebroplasty in spinal surgeries will further augment the growth of this market in emerging economies.
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