This is where the Six Million Dollar Man could come for repairs, along with athletes and anyone else who has ever needed knee, foot, or shoulder surgery. Arthrex's strength lies in sports medicine product development and educational services for orthopaedic surgeons. The company makes more than 6,000 products for arthroscopic and minimally invasive orthopaedic surgery, including ablation devices, shaver blades and burrs, Achilles tendon reattachment bridges, and suture anchors. Operating from about 20 locations in the Americas, Europe, and Asia, Arthrex distributes its products to hospitals and surgeons worldwide. Reinhold Schmieding founded the privately held company in 1981 and incorporated the business in 1984.
With almost 30 years of experience in the orthopaedic industry, Arthrex offers additional value to surgeons by providing educational courses and training programs mainly in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, and New York. The programs are designed to help surgeons beef up their skills in hip, knee, and shoulder arthroscopy procedures, as well as foot, ankle, hand, and wrist surgeries. Along with its US locations, Arthrex offers courses and surgical observation programs in Asia and Europe. Additionally, the company operates an interactive educational website called OrthoIllustrated. The site contains information about the diagnosis and treatment of common bone- and joint-related injuries and diseases; it also incorporates a surgeon finder function and a portal for surgeons.
In 2010 Arthrex struck a product development deal in its core area of sports medicine with Kensey Nash. Under the agreement, Kensey Nash develops biologic surgical meshes using its proprietary Optrix tissue processing technology, which disinfects tissues and preserves nonliving tissues that provide support to cells. Arthrex markets and distributes the meshes for use in sports medicine tendon repair procedures and small joint surgeries. Seen as a mutually beneficial partnership, Arthrex agreed later that year to market and distribute another of Kensey Nash's products, a knee cartilage repair device, in Europe.
In addition to product development undertaken internally or with partners, the company looks for acquisition opportunities. In 2010 Arthrex added iBalance Medical's knee restoration technology, and the following year, it acquired the joint arthroplasty division of Cardo Medical, including all of Cardo's hip and knee assets, which Arthrex markets worldwide to orthopaedic surgeons.
In late 2011 Arthrex prevailed in a patent-infringement case that was first brought against it by Smith & Nephew (S&N) in 2004. The case involved Arthrex's SutureTak and PushLock line of suture anchors for use in arthroscopic shoulder surgery. Earlier in 2011 Arthex had received an $85 million jury verdict against it, but the Federal District Court in Portland reversed that verdict and dismissed S&N's eight-year long pursuit against Arthrex.
Arthrex also works to expand its facilities for continued growth. The company expanded its campus with the acquisition of a new building in 2009; it also leased additional space near its current headquarters in Naples, Florida. The company furthered its corporate facilities expansion plan, announcing in 2011 its intention to add a 160,000-sq.-ft. biomedical operations and manufacturing facility and add more than 100 new jobs over several years after the facility is completed.
In 2011 founder and president Reinhold Schmieding anticipated that his company would achieve more than $1 billion in sales for the year, with 15% annual growth in sales, job creation, tax revenue creation, and new medical breakthroughs in the company's pipeline for the year and beyond. – less