Bracing devices are orthopedic appliances used to align, support and hold structural and functional characteristics of the musculoskeletal system. These devices offer safeguard to various orthopedic joints for prophylactic, post-trauma and post-surgery uses, and also help in increasing mobility for people suffering from a wide range of musculoskeletal problems. Bracing and support devices include bracing products for the upper and lower extremities such as ankle, kneel, elbow, lumbar back and wrist. Bracing devices are extremely effective at improving musculoskeletal manifestations as a part of the treatment and management program. Bracing and support appliances fall into class I FDA medical devices category since most of these devices are used externally.
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Growing prevalence of sedentary lifestyle and dietary diseases, increasing elderly population, growing incidence of musculoskeletal injuries and increasing usage of braces to treat sports injuries are some of the major drivers for the growth of bracing and support devices market. The number of patients with musculoskeletal problems and injuries across the globe has grown significantly in the recent past and has prompted orthotics manufacturers to develop advanced medical device solutions to tap the growing bracing and support devices market. According to the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and National Center for Health Statistics, in 2010, 3.8 million physician visits were recorded for the musculoskeletal symptoms and complaints.
The number represented an increase of approximately 1 million as compared to 2009 physician visits. Concerted efforts in the research and development of medical equipment have helped the bracing devices industry to maintain a steady growth over the last decade and are expected to continue in the coming years as well. Many of these devices are now equipped with advanced sensors, data synchronization systems and customized implants that would help in maintaining the growth momentum during the forecast period between 2014 and 2020. However, reimbursement restrictions, availability of a wide range of alternative treatment and management options may slow down the growth of this market.
The bracing and support devices market is segmented into seven broad categories, namely, knee bracing and supports, ankle bracing, spinal orthosis, back soft good, upper extremity bracing and support and pain management devices and kits. Knee bracing and supports were accounted for the largest share in this market in 2013 and are expected to experience moderate growth during the forecast period 2014 to 2020. Ankle and wrist braces segment presents enormous opportunities owing to higher rate of occupational injuries and sports injuries.
Geographically, the global market for bracing and support devices has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW). North America held the largest share of the global bracing and support devices market in 2013, followed by Europe. The key factors responsible for the growth of bracing and support devices market include high incidence of musculoskeletal diseases such as osteoarthritis, growing elderly population, increasing awareness among people and strong marketing efforts from manufacturers in these regions.
Asia-Pacific is expected to offer significant growth during the forecast period owning to growing population, increasing healthcare expenditure and flexible regulatory requirements in the region. China, India, Singapore, South Korea were the largest markets of bracing and support devices in Asia-Pacific in 2013.
Some of the major players in the bracing and support devices market include DJO, LLC., Biomet, Inc., Aspen Technology, Inc., Ossur Corporate, DeRoyal Industries, Inc., Bledsoe Brace Systems, Spinal Technology, Boston Brace, Cybertech, McDavid, Orthomerica, Chase Ergonomics, Xback, FLA Orthopedics and Otto Bock.
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