Foot drop can be defined as an abnormality in the gait where the forefoot drops due to factors such as weakness of the ankle and toe dorsiflexion. The abnormality is also caused by paralysis of the muscles in the anterior portion of the lower leg or damage to the fibular nerve. Foot drop can be associated with various conditions, including peripheral nerve injuries, neuropathies, drug toxicities, dorsiflexor injuries, and diabetes. Anatomic, muscular, and neurologic are the three categories of foot drop. Functional electrical stimulation technology is employed in the foot drop implant to improve the gait of patients and avoid foot drop or tripping while walking.
Functional electric stimulators (FES) can either be implanted within the patient’s body or employed externally. External FES is tested on the patient prior to its implantation. Implant FES involves a surgery in which the electrodes are directly placed on the nerves of the patient, which are controlled by the implant placed under the skin. The FES device activates the implant through a wireless antenna that is worn outside the body. Sensors are also associated with FES which trigger events in the walking pattern such as lifting of the heel, thereby stimulating the nerves.
The advantages of implant FES include reduction in sensation that is associated with external stimulation. In addition, it eliminates the need to adjust the electrodes on the skin on a daily basis. Rise in number of foot drop disorders due to nerve injuries, growth in knee and hip replacement therapies that lead to foot drop disorders, and increase in the number of sports related injuries contribute to the growth of the foot drop implants market. Foot drop disorders are commonly observed in diabetic retinopathy patients and this prevalence is growing due to increase in incidence of diabetes, which is propelling the growth of the market.
Furthermore, the market players are focus on research and development to increase the number of foot drop implant products available in the market, driving the market growth. However, lack of reimbursement, high cost of the implants, and low awareness among the people are likely to hinder the growth of the foot drop implants market in the near future.
The global foot drop implants market can be segmented on the basis of product, end-user, and region. On the basis of product, the market is categorized into functional electrical stimulators and internal fixation devices. The internal fixation devices segment is anticipated to record a significant growth during the forecast period owing to increasing demand for the devices and advantages offered by these devices such as elimination of the need to stimulate the electrodes daily. Based on end-user, the market can be segmented into hospitals, orthopedic centers, and palliative care centers, among others. The orthopedic centers segment is anticipated to record a high growth during the forecast period due to the increasing number of foot drop cases due to injuries.
Geographically, the foot drop implants market is distributed over North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. North America dominated the market in 2016 and is anticipated to continue its dominance during the forecast period. The significant growth of the market in the region can be attributed to the strong focus on research and development, increase in health care spending, and growth in awareness about the abnormality. The sluggish economy might have a negative impact on the market growth of Europe.
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Asia Pacific is anticipated to record a high CAGR during the forecast period, primarily driven by India and China. The rising disposable income is anticipated to contribute to the growth of the Asia Pacific market. In addition, a factor contributing to the market growth is rise in prevalence of diabetes that leads to diabetic retinopathy, which is one of the primary causes of foot drop.
Key players operating in the foot drop implants market include Finetech Medical, Arthrex, Inc., Zimmer Biomet, Bioness Inc., Stryker Corporation, Wright Medical Group N.V., Ottobock, Narang Medical Limited, PONTiS Orthopaedics, LLC, and Shanghai MicroPort Orthopedics.
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