Living in Warsaw, one often hears how it is The Orthopedic Capital of the World.™ We know how easy it is for any entity to make claims that may or may not be based on reality. How many restaurants, for instance, claim to have “the best cup of coffee in the world?” If anyone doubts Warsaw’s claim as an epicenter for the orthopedic industry, those doubts vanished upon walking into the Moscone Center’s exhibition halls in San Francisco, CA the second week of February during the annual American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Meeting.
Entering the main exhibit hall, visitors were struck by the impressive presence of the Warsaw-based orthopedic companies. DePuy Orthopaedics could be seen rising up from the center of Moscone Convention Center’s south hall. Looking to the right and left, Biomet and Zimmer booths were prominent as the other anchors of the south hall. These companies were three out of the five largest exhibitors at this year’s AAOS meeting. Tornier, an orthopedic company that has a facility in Warsaw, also had an exhibit in the south hall.
In Moscone’s north hall, our area’s growing orthopedic business was well represented. Paragon Medical, located a few miles down the road from Warsaw, exhibited in the north hall. Symmetry Medical was also there along with Medtronic, which manufactures spinal products in Warsaw, Ind. Greatbatch, a manufacturer of orthopedic implants and instrumentation that also has a facility in Warsaw, Ind., also exhibited in the north hall.
OrthoPediatrics, a Warsaw orthopedic company specializing in products for pediatric patients, was also represented at AAOS. Nick Deeter, Founder and Chairman of the Board of OrthoPediatrics, stated that he observed that many surgeons based outside of the United States sought out the OrthoPediatrics booth this year.
“While visiting various company booths throughout the week and introducing ourselves as being from Warsaw, Ind., the almost universal response from national and international companies alike was always similar. ‘Oh, so you live right in the middle of it all.’ One only needs to speak to the vast majority of orthopedic surgeons to find they have at least a passing knowledge of our city,” observed Lisa Mahan (of Mahan 9 Group, LLC), a communications consultant who attended this year’s AAOS meeting.
Nearly 30,000 individuals (including over 10,500 US and international orthopedic surgeons) attended AAOS with the exhibit halls open from February 8-10. During these three days, surgeons looked to companies such as Biomet, DePuy, Zimmer, Paragon Medical and Symmetry Medical for information on new products, new technologies and educational opportunities.
Innovation and advanced technology were showcased during AAOS with local orthopedic companies launching several products to market. These included knee implant systems, shoulder implant systems, a modular hip system, instruments (manual and powered) and orthobiologics products (among others).
“I spoke with many representatives from orthopedic companies throughout the world, and most are quite familiar with this place we call home. Look at the resumès of many orthopedic company executives, and you’ll see the influence Warsaw has had in their professional lives,” adds Mahan.
Today, thousands upon thousands of patients are living more full and satisfying lives thanks to the orthopedic industry’s contributions to the treatment of arthritis and other musculoskeletal deficiencies. While the patients may not personally be familiar with the city of Warsaw, there is no doubt The Orthopedic Capital of the World™ significantly impacts lives around the globe.