External fixation devices have been used since a long time. However, these external fixation devices have a number of drawbacks such as risk of infection, stiffness of the joint, discomfort due to weight and hindrance in X-Ray for monitoring the heeling progress. The radiolucent wrist fixators help in reducing the bulk as they are lighter making them a convenient option for patients. External fixation devices can be used for the fixation of any polytrauma joint. Wrist fixation devices are used to fix polytrauma in the wrist.
Radiolucent material is a material almost transparent to an X-Ray. With the rising need for wrist fixators that is lightweight and one that does not hinder the visibility in follow-up X-Ray scans. Radiolucent wrist fixators are made of radiolucent material such as the polycarbonate and polyethylene to overcome the drawbacks of the regular metallic external wrist fixator. A number of large and small companies have been investing in the area. Furthermore, the advantages of these devices is helping it gain popularity across the globe.
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Radiolucent wrist fixators are used for many indications that include fracture of the distal radius, fractures with open or closed soft tissue damage, polytrauma, fractures and dislocation in combination, loss of reduction after initial treatment and infections. Some of the companies that offer the radiolucent wrist fixator devices include Orthofix
Factors Driving and Hindering the Radiolucent Wrist Fixator Market
Growing incidence of fracture and the need for lightweight external fixation devices are driving the growth of the radiolucent wrist fixator market. Although these devices overcome some of the drawback of the traditional fixation devices, an important problem is still not addressed well enough, i.e., pin site infection. Since the radiolucent wrist fixator device structurally resembles the traditional device, it needs to be inserted into the bone and the remaining half is left outside, this if not taken care may lead to an infection. Though the materials used are biocompatible, may lead to adverse reactions.
Polycarbonate as an Increasingly Used Material for Radiolucent Wrist Fixators
Although some of the leading players use polyether ether ketone or polyethylene material, carbon fibres is a new material explored for the use in radiolucent wrist fixator devices. Carbon fibre is the new star in many industries mostly due to its features such as lightweight and strength. Compressed carbon fibre in the form of polycarbonate is a popular material used since the material is not only radiolucent but also is lightweight in nature. These characteristics prove to be promising for the growth of the radiolucent wrist fixator market. Some of the devices that use polycarbon, include Clearview Wrist Fixator and FIXUS 33.
Radiolucent Wrist Fixator in Hospitals
Orthopaedic division of hospitals is the largest consumer of the radiolucent wrist fixators. Hand fractures comprise nearly quarter of all the fractures. There are also reasonable reimbursement policies for the procedures involving the use of the radiolucent wrist fixator device. These factors combine together to make the use of radiolucent wrist fixators a potential choice in fixation of the wrist in most hospitals in particular.
Regional Market Outlook
Most of the technical developments and advancements with respect to the radiolucent wrist fixator market is in the North American region. The region is known for strong regulations and government initiatives for the growth of the market. Furthermore, a fair amount of reimbursement is also available for the surgery favouring the radiolucent wrist fixator market in the region. A number of top companies for an instance Orthofix are located in North America strengthening the hold of the market. However, the Asia Pacific market is also expected to have a lucrative growth due to growing aging population.
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Examples of some of the key participants in the radiolucent wrist fixators market are Fixus, Zimmer Biomet, Medartis, Orthofix, Umbra Applied Technologies and Swemac.