Northeast Ohio is a hub of innovation and opportunity and a recognized leader in the orthopedics sector. It is anchored by world-class research from Case Western Reserve University, the University of Akron, and the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), augmented by local talent developed at early orthopedics companies, and bolstered by clinical orthopedics excellence. The U.S. News & World Report ranks Cleveland Clinic top three in the world for both rheumatology and orthopedics. In addition, the publication has honored University Hospitals Case Medical Center as one of the top orthopedics programs in the world for the past decade.
The success of The Medical Capital’s orthopedics industry can be traced to the region’s 100-year history of expertise in materials sciences and engineering – in both metals and polymers. Much of the orthopedics talent in The Medical Capital came from AcroMed, one of the earliest Northeast Ohio orthopedics companies that, by 1998, had become the world’s second largest producer of spinal implants. AcroMed was acquired by Johnson & Johnson’s Depuy for $325 million, and while the business moved to Massachusetts, many key employees stayed in the Cleveland-Akron region and became orthopedics entrepreneurs.
One such Medical Capital orthopedics entrepreneur, Randy Theken, harnessed former AcroMed talent and founded a group of spinal implant companies throughout the 1990s organized under the Theken name. The Theken family of companies was acquired by Integra LifeSciences in 2008.
New orthopedics device companies continue to start up, move to, and thrive in Northeast Ohio. OrthoHelix, an extremity fixation company founded by orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Kay, was recently acquired for $140 million by Tornier N.V., and has since merged with Wright Medical Group.