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Top Ten 2016 Ortho Stories

Walter Eisner • Wed, January 11th, 2017

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Readers of Orthopedics This Week have picked the most viewed stories of 2016.

What interested you in the past year in the world of Orthoville?

Data, new technologies, clinical studies, interesting patent and prosecution trials, company product and business announcements and the general state of the business of orthopedics.

So here we bring you the top ten stories of 2016 measured through the magic of Google Analytics, in descending order.

10.  Ortho Surgeons Top Revenue Generators

Orthopedic surgeons continue to be the goose that lays the golden egg for hospitals.

According to Merritt Hawkins' 2016 Physician Inpatient/Outpatient Revenue Survey which tracks the net revenue that 18 different types of physicians generate on average for their affiliated hospitals, once again, orthopedic surgeons generated the most of any physician group with an annual average of $2.75 million in revenue. Orthopedic surgeons have an average salary of $497, 000.

Here are some of the revenue and (salary) statistics from the survey:

  • Orthopedics - $2.74 million ($497k)
  • Cardiology (Invasive) - $2.44 million ($525k)
  • Neurosurgery - $2.44 million ($553k)
  • General Surgery - $2.17 million ($339k)
  • Family Practice - $1.49 million ($198k)

9.  DOJ: Biomet Breached Deferred Prosecution Agreement

When Zimmer Holdings, Inc. purchased Biomet, Inc., Biomet was under the cloud of a 2012 deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with U.S. Justice Department to resolve a foreign corruption investigation (FCPA). The DPA was extended for successive years as prosecutors continued to investigate Biomet's conduct.

The company agreed to pay a $17.3 million criminal penalty, along with a $5.4 million civil settlement to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and to maintain a compliance program to prevent future misconduct.

In June 2016 prosecutors determined that Biomet had breached the DPA, meaning that Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. could face criminal prosecution.

According to the prosecutors, Biomet breached the DPA, "based on conduct in Brazil and Mexico that was disclosed by the company in 2014 and based on Biomet’s failure to implement and maintain a compliance program designed to prevent and detect violations of the FCPA and other anti-corruption laws."

Update: On December 6, 2016, the company and the prosecutors announced they are going to reach a settlement over the alleged corruption charges in Argentina, Brazil and China over the following four weeks.

8.  Spine Doc Wins $20.3 Million Against Medtronic

In early November, a federal jury in Texas awarded Mark Barry, M.D. $20.3 million after finding that Medtronic, plc "actively induced" infringement of patents covering spinal deformity repair services held by the surgeon.

Barry claimed that the company's CD Horizon Legacy spinal system infringed on his patent entitled, "System and Method for Aligning Vertebrae in the Ameliorating of Aberrant Spinal Column Deviation Conditions."

After a week-long trial, the jury awarded nearly $15.1 million for infringement of one of the patents in the U.S.; more than $2.6 million for U.S. infringement of the second patent; and another $2.6 million for infringement of that patent outside the U.S.

7.  “Fraudulent Foot Fiend” Podiatrist Sentenced to Jail

Neil Van Dyck, DPM was a California-licensed podiatrist who operated a podiatry practice in Roseville called Placer Podiatry. There, he offered "spa-like" treatments and performed routine foot care.

But the spa had a dark secret.

On April 15, U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell, Jr. sentenced Van Dyck to three years in prison and a $10, 000 fine for committing healthcare fraud. He pled guilty to the crime in October 2015. Van Dyck faced a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250, 000 or twice the loss or gain.

The case of the "fraudulent foot fiend" came to light when a Medicare investigator requested medical records on a single bill for a procedure that was supposedly done in the summer of 2011. The bill illegally reported that the doctor had performed a toenail removal, when nothing of the sort had been done. Detectives guessed there was trouble afoot.

6.  Zimmer’s “Groundbreaking” Foot and Ankle Fusion System

In February, Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. said its recently FDA cleared foot and ankle joint fusion system, called the Unite3D Bridge Fixation System, was "ground-breaking.”

The system replaces traditional surgical plates, screws and staples with a 3D printing and OsseoTi porous metal technology designed to offer greater stability than previous systems. The system features the company's proprietary OsseoTi porous metal technology, which, the company says, mimics the architecture of cancellous bone. The system also includes an osteoconductive matrix designed to provide for biological incorporation.

"The Unite3D Bridge Fixation System is unlike anything in our portfolio, and we are proud to commercialize a true innovation in this exciting clinical area, " said Ben Joseph, Zimmer’s foot and ankle general manager.

5.  Zimmer Biomet’s New Vanguard Knee Will “Revolutionize” TKA

Not usually given to hyperbole, Zimmer Biomet announced in September that its new Vanguard Individualized Design (ID) knee implant will "revolutionize" total knee replacement, by "respecting" soft tissue. Todd Davis, the head of Zimmer Biomet's knee business, said the device can fine tune the knee's balance using independent medial and lateral bearing thickness and constraint options.

The original Vanguard Knee system, which Biomet, Inc. introduced in 2003, pioneered personalization in knee replacement.

Some of our readers submitted comments, noting that others have been doing this for a while. Another said this was offered in the 70s with the Duocondylar Knee and the original LCS Knee.

Our readers are never shy.

4.  3, 000 to be Laid Off From J&J’s Medical Device Division

Nearly five years after Johnson & Johnson paid $21.3 billion to acquire Synthes and made Michel Orsinger, the former CEO of Synthes, the head of the merged company's DePuy Synthes orthopedics business, J&J announced in January that it was restructuring and making layoffs.

The merger had problems as the company lost market share. One analyst noted the company's revenue growth was 3-4 percentage points below its peers. J&J's medical device sales approached $19 billion in the first nine months of 2015, but fell 10.4%, making medical devices J&J's poorest-performing segment.

3.  Mobi-C’s 5-Year Data

LDR Spine, before being acquired by Zimmer Biomet in 2016, released five-year follow-up data for its cervical disc arthroplasty implant Mobi-C in October 2015.

In a prospective, randomized, FDA supervised IDE (investigational device exemption) study designed for a 7-year follow-up, at the 2-year and 5-year marks, Mobi-C demonstrated fewer subsequent surgeries, lower rates of adverse events, lower rates of adjacent level degeneration, and higher NDI (neck disability index) success rates compared to anterior cervical discectomy fusion (ACDF). In fact, at the 5-year mark, the NDI success score improved for those patients who received a two-level Mobi-C. At 60 months of follow-up, Mobi-C is statistically superior in terms of overall study success for two-level use.

Also released in 2015 were a dozen additional disc arthroplasty studies including a 5-year follow-up for the NuVasive, Inc. PCM cervical disc, 7-year follow-up for the DePuy Synthes ProDisc-C and an 11-year follow up data for the Charité III lumbar disc replacement.

The Mobi-C 5-year data is impressive. As is the PCM 5-year and the Pro-Disc 7-year and, yes, the Charité 11-year data.

Click here to see the data:

2.  The Ten Best New Spine Technologies for 2016

Robots, 3D printing and clever strategies for navigating the patient’s anatomy in error-free ways, dominated this year’s Orthopedics This Week Spine Technology Awards.

It wasn’t about newness, it was about reducing risk and long, expensive hospital stays. The technologies that make that happen for the rank and file spine surgeon were winners for 2016.

With nearly 40 entries for the 2016 awards, the ten winning companies with the BEST new spine care technologies for 2016 were:

  • Cerapedics, Inc. - i-FACTOR™ Peptide Enhanced Bone Graft
  • EOS imaging - spineEOS online 3D planning software
  • K2M Group Holdings, Inc. - CASCADIA™ AN Lordotic-Oblique Interbody System Featuring Lamellar 3D Titanium Technology™
  • Life Spine, Inc. - LONGBOW Expandable Lateral Spacer System
  • Mazor Robotics Ltd - Mazor X, a set of analytic solutions for robotic assist devices
  • Medtech SA, - ROSA® Spine, a robotic surgery system
  • Mighty Oak Medical - Navigation-Enabled Cortical Screw
  • Orthopedic Sciences, Inc. - The Beacon offers a means for endoscopic access
  • SpineGuard, Inc. - DSG™ Screw, a pedicle screw system with a breach anticipation sensor at the tip of the screw.
  • Vertera Spine - Porous PEEK COHEREä Cervical Fusion Device

The Judges

  • Neel Anand, M.D. Clinical Professor of Surgery and Director of Spine Trauma at Cedars-Sinai Spine Center in Los Angeles, CA.
  • Bradford L. Currier, M.D. Orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.
  • Richard Guyer, M.D. Co-founder of the Texas Back Institute and Director of their Spine Fellowship Program. He is a past president of NASS.
  • Gil Tepper M.D., F.A.C.S. Director of the Valley Spine Center in Santa Monica, CA
  • Philip S. Yuan, M.D. Chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Long Beach Memorial.

Click here to view the complete story:

And, finally, the top viewed story of 2016 was:

 1.  The Eleven Best Sports Medicine Technologies for 2016

Nearly 40 new products were submitted for the 2016 Orthopedics This Week Sports Medicine Technology Awards. The 11 winning companies with the BEST new sports medicine technologies for 2016 were:

  • AlloSource - ProChondrix® Cartilage Restoration Matrix
  • Arch Day Design (Smith & Nephew) - AccuPass Direct Suture Passer
  • CyMedica Orthopedics - e-Vive with CyMotion Technology
  • Lipogems - Lipogems System, a closed-looped point-of-care device
  • Micro-Imaging Solutions - Distally mounted CMOS Sensor for disposable/reusable and rigid/flexible scopes
  • Orthopedic Sciences, Inc. - Piranha Arthroscopic Shaver, Talon Burr and Harrier Burr
  • Össur - Rebound® PCL, a dynamic force PCL brace
  • Stryker Corporation - SonicAnchor, a suture anchor
  • Topical Gear - ACL Tube, a thigh sleeve with two embedded buttresses
  • VICIS, Inc. - ZERO1, a redesigned football helmet
  • Vomaris Innovations, Inc. - Procellera® Antimicrobial Wound Dressing with Advanced Microcurrent Technology®
  • ZipLine Medical - Zip Surgical Skin Closure, a non-invasive alternative to staples, sutures and glue

The award rewards inventors, engineering teams, physicians and their companies who’ve created the most innovative, enduring and practical products and technologies to treat injured athletes in ANY activity—whether sports, industry, military or healthcare.

To win the award, a new technology had to be creative and innovative, have long term significance, solve a clinical problem, have the potential to improve standard of care, be cost effective and would be used by the judges.

The Judges

  • James Andrews, M.D. Founding partner and medical director of the institute that bears his name—The Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, Florida.
  • Brian Cole, M.D. Associate Chairman and Professor, Department of Orthopedics, Chairman, of the Department of Surgery at Rush and Section Head, Cartilage Restoration Center at Rush.
  • John Dorris, M.D. Strong practice treating joint pain, sports injuries (ACL tear, meniscus tear, rotator cuff tear, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, labral tear), tendon pain (elbow pain, heel pain, knee pain), fractures, and other orthopedic issues.
  • David Petron, M.D. Assistant Professor (clinical) at the University of Utah and is a primary care orthopedic/sports medicine specialist and a team physician for the U.S. Ski Team
  • Tom Vangsness, M.D. Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California (USC). is also on the editorial board of the Journal of Arthroscopy and The Journal of Knee Surgery.

Click here for the entire story:

Thank you, readers, for taking time to read the stories we think are most interesting, important and relevant to your orthopedic practice. We promise to continue to be respectful of that time in the coming year.

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