Zimmer Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and SIX: ZMH) today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued five new patents directed to the Subchondroplasty® Procedure, the innovative new joint preservation procedure developed by Zimmer Knee Creations: U.S. Patent No. 8,551,178, U.S. Patent No. 8,574,303, U.S. Patent No. 8,608,802, U.S. Patent No. 8,617,166 and U.S. Patent No. 8,623,089. These patents broaden the coverage of the first Subchondroplasty® Procedure patent issued, U.S. Patent No. 8,062,364, to include new procedure methods, instrument kits, navigation systems, implants and other anatomical sites.
The novel Subchondroplasty® Procedure is a percutaneous outpatient intervention that addresses the defects associated with subchondral bone marrow lesions (BMLs). BMLs are related to stress fractures or micro-fractures, and are currently diagnosed using MRI. Left untreated, these defects have been shown to lead to cartilage degeneration, limited function, pain and greater risk for joint deterioration.
"These valuable additions to our Subchondroplasty® Procedure patent portfolio are the result of years of research and development," said Michael Simpson, Vice President and General Manager, Zimmer Knee Creations, Inc. "The Subchondroplasty® Procedure is a differentiated clinical solution which demonstrates Zimmer's commitment to offering the most comprehensive range of therapies for patients across the continuum of care."
In this minimally invasive, arthroscopically-assisted procedure, navigation instruments are used to inject specialized bone filler, without violating the joint. As the bone filler is resorbed, it is replaced with new, healthy bone. The Subchondroplasty® Procedure is the first procedure to treat bone-based changes within a joint, and addresses an unmet clinical need between early interventions, such as NSAIDs and joint arthroscopy, and total joint replacement. Since its introduction in November 2010, more than 3,000 Subchondroplasty® Procedures have been completed.