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European Orthopaedic Braces and Supports Market Boosted by Composites

23 September 2004

The European orthopaedic braces and supports market is expected to expand to $536.2 million by 2010, partly due to new technology.

A combination of demographic factors, technological advances and supplier-backed end-user education programmes is set to fuel market growth, according to a recent market report by Frost and Sullivan, The European Market for Orthopaedic Bracing and Support, published last month.

By 2020, the elderly are expected to comprise almost a quarter of Europe's total population. This changing demography is set to underpin a rise in the incidence of age-related orthopaedic problems such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, degenerative disc disease (DDD), herniated disc and spondylolysis, triggering significant demand for orthopaedic braces and supports.

The orthotics market is also set to receive a boost from technological advances. The increasing use of computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology and the development of new materials such as carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRPs) or fibre reinforced plastics (FRPs) are poised to promote the creation of effective and innovative products, while opening up applications in numerous niche markets.

""Suppliers have been responsible for stimulating growth in the market not only through the development of new and innovative products, but also by providing product education and training to the end-users,"" says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Paul Taylor (http://medicaldevices.frost.com). ""This has helped reinforce the efficacy of braces and supports and has helped increase their usage in different applications.""

""The principal challenge to the industry is to seek ways and methods by which market access may be improved by not impeding competitiveness, innovation and rapid access to markets by avoiding unnecessary constraints on industry that are not necessarily from a public health point of view,"" comments Mr. Taylor.