A Medical Device Daily

Small Bone Innovations, (SBi; New York), a provider of products, technology and education for the small bone & joint sector of the orthopedics industry, reported it has expanded its lower limb business beyond the recently acquired Scandinavian Total Ankle Replacement (S.T.A.R.) system. SBi's decision to enhance its focus on the lower limb market is predicated on a significant and largely unmet surgeon and patient need for treatment within the lower limb anatomy.

SBi has established a Worldwide Diabetes & Limb Preservation Systems business unit to address what it said is a largely unmet need for lower limb salvage and deformity correction, as well as the treatment of Charcot foot disease, a deformity of the bones in the foot associated with diabetes that can lead to amputation unless treated in its earlier stages.

As an illustration of the depth of patient need for this latter treatment, SBi noted that more than 60% of non-traumatic lower limb amputations occur in people with diabetes – nearly 75,000 in 2003, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (Atlanta).

To focus the company's energy on patient needs and surgeon efforts on treatment of the lower limb, SBi reported the promotion of Scott Ludecker to VP of the new business unit from his current position as VP of Worldwide Circular Fixation.

In other restructuring news, Sparton (Jackson, Michigan) reported the closing of its Jackson, manufacturing operations no later than June 30. The closing is in response to the difficult economic and competitive situation in the industries served and is part of Sparton's plan to return the company to profitability.

"While this decision was extremely difficult, it is critical for us to take the steps necessary to ensure the long-term viability of the company," said CEO Cary Wood. "We have been faced with excess capacity for some time now and we need to optimize our manufacturing resources to a much more competitive level."

The closing affects 39 salaried and 167 hourly employees who will receive severance packages consistent with company policy.

Sparton's products are directed toward Aerospace, Medical Devices, Industrial and Government Systems businesses.

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