The Amputee Coalition of America estimates that, as of 2017, two million people are living with limb loss in the U.S. This is a high number for such a seemingly uncommon procedure, but in reality it is much more common than expected, with doctors performing about 200,000 amputations each year. And, naturally, each amputation necessitates a prosthetic limb.
A prosthesis (also called a prosthetic limb or artificial limb) is a substitute for a limb lost through a congenital defect, accident, traumatic injury, or illness. Among the illnesses, the main causes of limb loss are vascular disease – diabetes and peripheral arterial disease.
Curious about which prostheses are most popular among physicians? Here are the top 25 most common prostheses by total number of claims:
25 Most Common Prosthetics by Total # of Claims
||Description of Prosthetic
||Total # of Claims
||Total # of Services
||Breast prosthesis, silicone or equal
||Prosthetic sock, multiple ply, below knee
||Addition to lower extremity, below knee, total contact
||Addition to lower extremity, test socket, below knee
||Below knee/above knee suspension locking mechanism
||Addition, endoskeletal system, below knee, alignable system
||Addition to lower extremity, below knee, acrylic socket
||Addition, endoskeletal system, below knee, ultra-light material
||Addition to below knee prosthesis, suspension/sealing sleeve
||Addition to below knee prosthesis, custom fabrication
||Breast prosthesis, mastectomy form
||External breast prosthesis garment, post mastectomy
||Addition to below knee extremity, flex. inner socket, ext. frame
||Prosthetic shrinker, below knee
||All lower extremity prostheses, multi-axial rotation unit
||Below knee, molded socket, endoskeletal system
||Partial foot, shoe insert with longitudinal arch, toe filler
||Tracheostomy speaking valve
||Custom shaped protective cover, below knee
||Addition to lower extremity, test socket, above knee
||Replacement, socket, below knee, molded to patient model
||Additions to lower extremity, knee disarticulation socket
||Addition to lower extremity, ischial containment/narrow socket
||Addition to above knee extremity, flex. inner socket, ext. frame
Fig 1 Medical equipment by HCPCS/CPT code (2016 Medicare data), from Definitive Healthcare's Physicians Market Analytics database.
It's evident that the most common prosthetics fall into two categories:
1. Breast Prostheses
The number of women choosing to have mastectomies over breast-sparing procedures has been rising significantly in the U.S. — many citing a desire to avoid excess radiation treatments, biopsies, and mammograms.
Following the mastectomy procedure, some women choose to have breast reconstruction, but if a patient decides that breast reconstruction isn’t right for them, but still wants a breast shape, a prosthesis or breast form can help them look balanced without surgery. There are a wide variety of breast prostheses that typically serve as a replacement after a mastectomy, and many are featured in the list above.
2. Leg Prostheses
Amputation rates have been rising significantly in people under 65 with diabetes since 2009, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — a trend that is particularly strong for (1) so-called minor amputations of toes and feet (rising 62 percent from 2009 to 2015) and (2) major amputations, those done above or just below the knee — up by 29 percent.
Given this uptick, it's no wonder that "below the knee" prosthetic leg parts and sockets saw some of the highest number of claims in 2016. Below the knee, or transtibial, prosthetics are typically attached to an intact upper leg, just below the knee. They are fit with a socket, which is carefully molded around a plaster cast taken from the residual limb.
In these codes, it's apparent that sockets make up a large portion of the prosthetics market. This may be because a patient's residual limb is likely to change shape and size over time, so new sockets will be needed as the patient ages. But, with modern technology, more precisely-fitting sockets are now in the works, as developers have the ability to scan a patient's residual limb with lasers and use 3-D printing to create an exact fit.
Want to assess demand for your medical device products within a specific hospital, IDN, or other health network? Definitive Healthcare's Provider database can help you identify burgeoning demand for prosthetics or medical equipment, based on U.S. claims data.
- Anticipate demand for certain equipment or medical devices based on the procedures a provider conducts most often. Analyze the total number of procedures based on category or code.
- Confirm installations of X-ray machines, CT scanners, MRI machines, and other medical devices. Review component histories such as implementations of high-voltage generators, image receptors, and other parts.
UPCOMING WEBINAR: 5 Effective Selling Strategies Life Sciences Companies Are Using in 2019
Wednesday, July 24th at 2:00 p.m. ET.
- Uncover provider metrics, patterns, and affiliations data to accelerate prospect targeting
- Identify key success indicators and essential criteria for a provider’s purchasing capacity and intent
- See how providers use technology and patient data to influence their purchasing decisions
- Understand which doctors offer expanded network and patient reach by examining critical referral patterns