A Wake-Up Call for all Orthopedic employees – the strong, the average and the weak.

The orthopedic industry has long been a sought-after field, attracting individuals interested in orthopedic medicine. Many entered the orthopedics industry because of experience with an orthopedists as an athlete early in life.

Jobs have always been plentiful.

But things have changed.

Today, there are fewer jobs available for most people.

In this article, I will try to shed light on the evolving industry landscape and issue a warning to employees at all levels. While strong and resilient professionals may still find success, those who are complacent or lack the necessary skills may face a difficult road ahead.

The orthopedic industry is undergoing significant job reduction overall, as seen by these 5 trends:

1/ The Big Orthos are trimming their payrolls.

2/ The rash of recent acquisitions will eliminate 50% or more of the combined employees during integration.

3/ There is less capital available in the financial system and high interest rates. This leads to less risk taking and less investment in people.

4/ There is a new trend of doing more work with less employees. This is real. Ortho companies learned this during Covid.

5/ And finally, many ortho companies are going out of business, selling off assets, or struggling to survive.

A few examples below:

  • ActivOrtho – asset sale
  • Bioventus – desperate for capital
  • Carevature – asset sale
  • Conformis – garage sale to Restor3d
  • ControlRad – asset sale
  • Intellirod – asset sale
  • Lima TechMah Medical – cut US office
  • Novum (fka Bio2) – shut down
  • Surgalign – asset sale after Chapter 11
  • Stryker Knee Creations – division shut down
  • Trice Medical – desperate for capital
  • Titan Medical – asset sale
    TracPatch Health – asset sale
  • WishBone – asset sale

Strong employees – The Strength of the Ambitious:

In times of uncertainty, strong individuals with exceptional skills, adaptability, and determination have little to fear. These high-performing professionals possess the ability to embrace change, upskill themselves, and seek new opportunities within the industry. Their intelligence, ambition, and resourcefulness set them apart from the competition, allowing them to thrive even in a challenging job market.

In my recruiting work, I will never have a problem bringing strong individuals into growing startups that thrive on exceptional talent.

Median performers – The Plight of the Average:

For those who fall in the middle, maintaining job security becomes a crucial priority. Instead of complaining about compensation or level of responsibility, it is essential for average employees to focus on building their skill sets, expanding their knowledge, and demonstrating their value to the organization. Find a way to become useful.

Mediocrity in a shrinking marketplace can be a significant disadvantage, and these employees must be proactive in enhancing their expertise to remain relevant.

Medium employees who have high compensation and long tenure, often are caught up in layoffs.

Medium employees should find a way to become Strong employees.

Weak employees – Limited Options for the Weak:

Employees who are ill-prepared or lack the necessary skills face an uphill battle in the orthopedic industry’s changing landscape. As the ortho companies learn to do more with less people, they will value individuals with the abilities to drive innovation, adapt to new technologies, and take on new responsibilities. Weak performers will find themselves with limited options and reduced job security. Therefore, it is imperative for these individuals to invest in their professional development or consider alternative career paths.


The orthopedic industry is experiencing a transformational period, presenting both opportunities and challenges for its employees. Strong, ambitious individuals who are adaptable and resourceful can still find success in the shrinking job market this year. Medium-level employees must strive to keep their jobs by becoming more useful to the organization, demonstrating value and upskilling themselves. However, weak performers face limited options and should seriously consider taking action to improve their professional prospects. It is essential for all employees to embrace continuous learning and remain agile in the face of industry changes. By doing so, they can mitigate the risks and position themselves for long-term success in the evolving landscape of the orthopedic industry.