Endoscopy devices have evolved as a promising alternative to minimally invasive surgeries (MIS) and open surgeries. MIS are convenient for patients as well as hospitals, in that they allow quick recovery and reduce hospital stay. They also reduce chances of infections and post surgery complications such as excessive blood loss and infection at the surgery site. Arthroscopy is endoscopy surgery of joints such as knees, shoulder, wrist and others.
In an arthroscopy surgery, a surgeon makes a small incision and inserts a rod shaped instrument that consists of a lens and illumination system for clear visualization of internal organs. A camera can also be attached to the arthroscope for better visualization. This method serves the purpose of diagnosis as well as treatment. Arthroscopy surgeries can be advised in cases of osteoarthritis or soft tissue repair such as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair, posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) repair, Achilles tendon repair, labral tear, and others. These injuries are common during sports like football, rugby, tennis, basket ball, cricket where quick movements are common.
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The field of arthroscopy is continuously evolving with the introduction of advanced technology, which makes it easier for surgeons to reach critical organs, provide better visualization and ergonomic working conditions. Arthroscopy visualization system consists of light source, a camera, and a medical monitor. A light source can be a light emitting diode (LED), xenon or halogen. Currently xenon light sources are widely used as they are lightweight and provide better illumination. To minimize the heat generated by light sources, light is transmitted inside the body through a fiber optic cable.
Camera allows better visualization of the surgery process on screen and allows surgeons to save the video files for training and further references. Development in imaging technology has led to the use of high-definition (HD) and three-dimensional (3D) imaging technology to be used in medical field. HD technology provides a wider viewing angle with aspect ratio of 16:9. It also provides better clarity and better color contrast for enhanced visual quality. For HD imaging, all components in a visualization system including camera, monitor, camera control unit and others must be HD compatible. 3D endoscopy provides better depth perception because of its 3 dimensional view. 3D endoscopy also requires all visualization components to be compatible with 3D imaging.
In spite of the advantages of 3D viewing, the market for 3D endoscopy is restricted because of the dizziness and eye strain caused to surgeons due to the difference in the view and the natural human eyesight. Nevertheless, although more expensive as compared to earlier 2D endoscopy and with smaller aspect ratio of 4:3, these devices have started capturing the global market.
The market is growing rapidly in Asia-Pacific where countries such as India, China, Japan, Malaysia and others hold great potential. Due to increasing awareness about medical facilities, improving medical services, and increasing preference for minimally invasive surgeries, the arthroscopy market is expected to grow rapidly in this region. Medical tourism is also propelling the market’s growth in Asia-Pacific. The growth will also be leveraged by the rising global aging population, which has increased the incidence of arthritis.
Increasing health awareness and sports activities among elderly population have also been observed in the recent past. This has increased the incidence of sports injuries in the age group above 40 years of age. Key players in the market for arthroscopy visualization systems include Olympus, KARL STROZ, Richard Wolf, Stryker, Conmed, Smith & Nephew, and Wright Medical.
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