Orthopaedic companies project ‘return to normalcy’ as electives recover in Q1

J&J, Smith & Nephew and Stryker reported seeing a light at the end of the tunnel during the first quarter as nonessential care rebounded, with a backlog of hip procedures pointing the way forward.

After bearing the brunt of a global slowdown in surgical procedures during the pandemic, the orthopaedic sector is seeing the first signs of a turnaround, led by demand for hip replacements.

Leading orthopaedic device makers Smith & NephewJohnson & Johnson and Stryker all reported hip sales in the first quarter that outpaced momentum in their knee businesses.

Patients in need of a new hip, it seems, are less able to withstand a prolonged delay in treatment than those in need of a knee implant. That’s because hip patients tend to have more acute injuries, according to Smith & Nephew executives.

“We’ve seen throughout the pandemic that surgeons have prioritized hip procedures,” Smith & Nephew CFO Anne-Francoise Nesmes said on the company’s first-quarter earnings call.

Knee surgeries, by comparison, are easier to put off, device executives said. Knees “are perhaps the most elective of the procedures in terms of being able to delay,” J&J CEO Alex Gorsky told analysts on his company’s call.


Image Credit: Adeline Kon/MedTech Dive


About Peter Coffaro 472 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 25 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. Recognized by the World Journal of Orthopedics, Exponential Healthtech, and MedReps.com as one of the top medical sales influencers in the industry; he has 10 years of combined sales management experience and has held positions as a Director, General Manager, Distributor, and Vice President. Peter has worked for some of the top orthopedic companies in the world - Zimmer, DePuy, and Stryker. He is also the founder of OrthoFeed: a popular blog that covers digital orthopedic news and emerging medical technologies. Peter is a three-time Hall of Fame award winner at Johnson and Johnson and has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, digital marketing, and professional education. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology and Chemistry from Northern Illinois University.

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