Wright looking to recapture profits with foot-reconstruction tech

The launch of Wright Medical's Ortholoc is part of the company's plan to boost its foot-and-ankle business--courtesy of Wright Medical

Wright Medical Group ($WMGI) is launching the Ortholoc 3Di reconstruction plating system, a securing device for foot surgeries, hoping its sales will help the company rebound from last year's sales decline.

The tech combines anatomical plates and screws to help secure bones in surgeries for fracture fixation, osteotomies, and foot fusions, the company said. Most important, though, is that the device features Wright's proprietary polyaxial locking tech, which allows surgeons to adjust the trajectory of implanted screws to fit the patients' specific bone structures.

The launch is part of Wright's effort to expand its market share in the foot-and-ankle device game, the company's CEO said, and the device's flexibility makes it an ideal platform to lead growth in that sector. "We expect to expand this system in the future to treat other areas of the foot, including complex midfoot and hindfoot procedures," Robert Palmisano said.

And the company could use the boost. After a 2011 boardroom shakeup put Palmisano in the CEO seat, the company has faced quarterly decreases in sales and net income, projecting a 2012 sales of $489 million, more than $20 million below the previous year. But the company is clawing back after being forced to pay $7.9 million kickback settlement to the feds in 2010, and Wright is banking on its foot-and-ankle unit to come through.

- read Wright's release