October 21, 2019

Economic Backbone

Orthopedics – A trend toward less surgery

Mike Vogel | 12/28/2017

Sound Waves

Another approach, which requires a tiny incision, is “percutaneous ultrasonic tenotomy” that uses a vibrating needle to break down damaged tissue and suck it away. The body replaces the harmed tissue with healthy tissue. It’s being used at Cleveland Clinic for tennis elbow, hip tendon, rotator cuff and Achilles tendon repairs. Some patients who’ve had chronic tennis elbow pain have been back to full activity, including sports, in six weeks, Dr. David Westerdahl says.

Stem Cells

The University of South Florida College of Medicine’s Dr. Charles Nofsinger, an orthopedist, has used stem cells to treat tendons and arthritis-related damage in early or mid-state cases. He says the scientific literature is trending toward supporting their aggressive use. “We’ve been doing it for several years now and having good results,” Nofsinger says. “It appears that it helps cells regrow. Especially if you have some existing cartilage, you can help those tissues. It only really works if there is something left.”


Dr. Richard de Asla Dr. Richard de Asla

Naples-based Arthrex, a surgical device company, rolls out innovations regularly. Just one: InternalBrace, a ligament augmentation device to fix bad ankle sprains that require surgery to repair the ligament. InternalBrace augments standard ligament repair by acting as a kind of seat belt to prevent the ankle from moving beyond a certain point. There are 35,000 to 40,000 reported ankle sprains a year and, of course, many more that go unreported.

Dr. Richard de Asla, a Naples Community Hospital orthopedic surgeon with fellowship training in foot and ankle issues, says the synthetic ribbon — permanently attached to bones in the ankle — has produced good results, getting people out of the immobilization boot sooner, walking sooner and into physical therapy sooner.

“It’s sort of changed how we manage this very common problem,” de Asla says. He uses it primarily to protect repaired ankle ligaments, but it has a number of applications. He notes, though, that the evidence is anecdotal and would benefit from having prospective, randomized studies done.

Fans of Thursday and Sunday night football on NBC Sports may recognize one of Arthrex’s innovations. NBC uses Arthrex’s OrthoIllustrated.com 3-D animations to explain player injuries. The website provides animations that patients can use to understand their own injuries and arthritis and treatments. It’s accessible by computer, tablet and smart phone. (See videos on YouTube, here.) This is its second season on NBC Sports. The animations, supplemented with patient-friendly explanations, are the same ones used by Arthrex in-house to educate surgeons on using Arthrex products and techniques.

Gym, Health and Fitness Club Industry

  • $1.4 billion - Value of the industry in Florida
  • $30.5 billion - Value nationally
  • $206.6 million - Industry profit in Florida
  • 2% - Projected growth in annual revenue through 2022
  • Market Leaders - Fitness International, the parent company of LA Fitness, has at least 20% of the Florida market, followed by Equinox, 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym, Life Time Fitness and Florida-based Zone Fitness.

Sports Medicine Industry

  • The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine has 254 members in Florida out of 4,000 nationally.
  • $19.5 billion - Revenue nationally in 2016
  • 2. 1% - Projected revenue growth through 2021
  • 8. 2% - Florida’s share of sports medicine practitioners, the largest share in the Southeast U. S.
  • 9. 1% - California’s share, the nation’s largest

Source: IBISWorld

Tags: Healthcare, Economic Backbone

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