Orthotics is a medical field that deals with designing and construction of orthoses which is an external support to modify, control or immobilize movement. Orthoses assist in correction of muscle and joint by restriction and alignment of bones. Orthopedic orthoses are prescribed in case of deformity due to accidents, trauma, osteoarthritis, birth defects or sports injury. Orthoses can be prefabricated or customized for appropriate fitting. Orthoses devices are usually made from plastic or graphite as they offer appropriate flexibility while restricting abnormal movement. Neoprene is also used widely in soft braces and provides comfort and easy application to the patient.
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For minor deformities and injuries especially during sports and injury, soft braces and usually recommended. Orthopedic orthoses are available for various anatomies such as wrist, hand, elbow, spine, knee, ankle, and foot.
Orthopedic Orthotics Market: Growth Enablers
Technological advances such as computer assisted design (CAD) and 3D printing have increased trend for personalized orthoses. Being customized these devices deliver better results as compared to pre-fabricated, as these devices may not provide proper immobilization. With changing customer preferences due to increasing disposable income, and awareness of available medical services, the market for customized orthoses is increasing rapidly. Increasing trend for physical fitness in baby boomers has increased hospital visits for muscle pain and other skeletal muscular problems.
Sports activities in school also have given rise to injuries among teenagers. According to a survey conducted by Safe Kids Worldwide in 2013, common sports related injuries among teenagers include ankle which accounts for 15% of the injuries, while head and fingers account for 14% and 12% respectively. The report also details that girls are almost 8 times more susceptible to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury as compared to boys. Ligament injuries are most in sports where quick and extreme movements are required such as basketball, soccer, and tennis; while fractures are common in extreme sports. Incidences of Achilles tendon rupture, tennis elbow, and micro fractures are also common in sports.
These increased incidences in sports injuries contribute majorly to the orthopedic orthoses market. International Osteoporosis Foundation suggests that over 200 million individuals globally suffer from osteoporosis. In another data published by Osteoporosis Canada, more than 80% of all fractures in people above 50 years of age are caused by osteoporosis. Thus increased prevalence of osteoporosis is also adding to patient pool for application of orthopedic orthoses. Although aforementioned factors are expected to drive the market lower reimbursement rates are restricting the market growth.