Wright Medical Technology Inc. is a global medical technology company specializing in orthopaedic products and surgical solutions for the field of orthopaedics. They are recognised as a global leader on this specialized medical market and surgeons everywhere rely on its products first and foremost, when it comes to foot and ankle surgeries and post-surgery care. It is often the case that medical circles, like any other professional network for that matter, are a place for inside jokes and teasing among the various groups housed under a broad roof. In this case, we’d like to mention the common jokes and teases about orthopaedists: if you’re a medical practitioner yourself, of any kind, you can’t possibly not be aware of the fun poked at the expense of these physicians. The jokes often imply that the trade of these doctors requires no finesse at all and that all they do is saw bones all day, being somewhat of a butchery figure in the realm on medicine and surgery.
All jokes aside, the truth couldn’t be further from these jokes: orthopaedics is a field of medicine as complex and important as neurology is, and the mission of a good orthopaedic isn’t just to set broken bones together, but also to handle bone debris and fractures in mindful ways to preserve the patient’s mobility and nerve structure as intact as possible. That means orthopaedic doctors are often tasked with thinking under extreme time pressure and with deciding the ways in which to act in order to save as many nerve endings as they can and effectively save a patient from paralysis, from avoidable amputation and so on, and in order to preserve or improve mobility and comfort. The issues which are often solved with the help of top-level orthopaedic surgeons include congenital bone malformations, chronic back nerve pain and so on, so their area of expertise is still delicate, fascinating and not yet fully charted.
Wright Medical Technology History and Background
Before allowing this article to turn into an overview and praise of the orthopaedic doctors’ activity, we will get to the point: a huge part of the remarkable work carried on by these medical professionals would not be possible without the technologies provided by companies and groups such as Wright. Let’s take a deeper look into who they are and their history so we can better understand how they got to the level of excellence of today.
The company is certified with ISO 9001, as a manufacturer of specialty orthopaedic implants and orthopaedic instruments. Basically, no high end surgery which involves bone reconstruction, prosthetics or bone implants of any kind could take place nowadays without the amazing technology and products provided by this giant. It probably goes without saying, but we should mention that Wright Medical Technology Inc. is as much of a medical equipment provider giant globally as it is nationally, so it’s not just U.S.A. doctors and patients who benefit from them. Also, the company is a horizon maker in the realm of specialized research as well, employing some of the brightest medical research minds of the country in order to continuously improve their products.
As for their history, the company is nothing short of spectacular in this field as well. They were formed in 1950 by an orthopaedic salesman named Frank O. Wright, who although lacked professional medical training managed to devise a simple but revolutionary product: the “all-rubber walking heel” to be used with leg casts. Up until that point, the rigid steel heels for leg casts were causing the recovering patients quite some stress and the added discomfort of back pain. Once Mr. Wright started selling his product, these problems were solved and many American citizens felt more comfortable while using leg casts. Although the company started with the modest capital of $300, Wright’s dream of designing and manufacturing innovative orthopaedic solutions materialized more and more with each passing year. In the 1970s, for example, the company stroke a new major success with their line of implants for the small joints of toes and fingers, helping small joint arthroplasty reach a new level of accuracy and finesse of results. These implants are still widely used and sold to this day, so you can make an idea about the measure of their success.
Innovation and Remarkable Feats
To continue recounting the trailblazing history of Wright Medical Technology means already slipping in what is supposed to be a separate chapter of their overview, namely the list of innovations for which they have distinguished themselves. Besides the small joint implants famously launched by the company in the 70s, they are also to be praised for the following:
- The Whiteside Ortholoc Knee: This was an unique knee design launched by the company in 1983 which started a series of tremendously successful similar designs which are widely used to this day. It was the first intramedullary instrumented, cementless knee design in the history of orthopaedics, and the difference it made in the lives of countless patients was huge. Its unique features are the closest any manufactured knee design has ever gotten to replicate the motion and feel of the natural knee.
- The OSTEOSET Medical Grade Calcium Sulfate: This pioneering product was developed by Wright Medical Technology in 1996 and became one of the world’s leading bone void filler substances. Specifically designed to help consolidate frail bones and to help heal difficult fractures better, the product also became the foundation for highly innovative expansive biologic solutions in the decade that followed and to this day.
- The INBONE Total Ankle System: This ground-breaking innovative solution was acquired by Wright from a third party developer in 2008, as a natural continuation of their 2005 and onwards focus on expanding their Foot&Ankle market. With the help of technology such as the INBONE Total Ankle System, the company was able to offer yet again an unprecedented surgical solution to an old orthopaedic problem, making not only the medical field, but also countless patients progress more than previously thought possible.
Today, Wright Medical Technology Inc. is truly an international market leader and giant in the realm of orthopaedic implants, instruments and surgical solutions. The company continued its commitment to innovation by internally developing several other products such as the PROPHECY INBONE Preoperative Navigation Alignment Guides, the ORTHOLOC 3Di Reconstruction Plating System, the ORTHOLOC 3DiAnkle Fusion System, and the CLAW II Polyaxial Compression Plating System and so on.
The company is headquartered in Memphis TN today, after a long stand in its Arlington TN headquarters, and has about 900 direct employees. Considering how large they have grown out to be and that after a certain business figure threshold, controversy and criticism are somewhat inevitable for most large companies, it is remarkable and worth pointing out that Wright Medical Technology has been free of any major public criticism or controversy so far, making it one of the ethically ‘cleanest’ companies in the field. Also, it should be noted that its compliance to ethical values are taken seriously enough to create a whole corporate department for it. If that’s not impressive, we don’t know what is.
Although its business side is quite strong as well (the company acquired WG Healthcare and Biotech International in 2013, followed by Solana Surgical and OrthoPro in 2014), becoming one of the fastest growing medical technology companies of today, its attention to research and innovation have not faded. The company offers research grants and hires excellent orthopaedic surgeons continuously to help design and test better and better solutions for the field they serve. This brings us to our next point, namely that the company also represents a wonderful career opportunity for any medical professional interested in trying their hand at industry research excellence and field-altering innovation.
Careers and Professional Opportunities
If you’re interested in pursuing a career at Wright Medical Technology, you are definitely aiming high, and we mean it in the best way possible. The company’s slogan is “Focused Excellence” and their track record shows that they mean it at every step of the way. As an aspiring medical professional aiming to make the best of your career opportunities and to change lives for the better in the process, this company is one of the best places you can apply to. For networking and career purposes, it’s best to follow their pretty active Linkedin profile and be up to speed with all new jobs they publish, as well as other relevant data which may help you attain your goal.
At the moment, at the beginning of May 2015, the company has listed two promising jobs: one for a Biologics Field Manager for the Pacific Northwest region and the other one for a Regulatory Affairs Project Manager. According to Payscale, the company pays its employees about 8% above the market average, making this incentive one extra reason to want to work for them. The employee satisfaction with their jobs is also highly rated, with 4 stars out of 5 on average. We hope you enjoyed our overview of the company’s background and we wish you the best of luck with the application process, in case you’re tempted to apply.