Zimmer Biomet snaps up clearance for shoulder replacement robot

Zimmer Biomet’s orthopedic robotics portfolio is about to welcome a new sibling. The company has received an FDA clearance for its latest Rosa system geared toward shoulder replacements.

The green light marks the fourth in Zimmer’s family of Rosa robotic helpers in the past five years, following go-aheads in total knee and hip replacement procedures. The system also claims the title of being “first-to-market” for assisted shoulder arthroplasty, according to the company.

“We are proud and excited to be the first company in the world to deliver a robotic surgical assistant for anatomic and reverse shoulder replacement surgery,” President and CEO Ivan Tornos said in a statement. “Rosa Shoulder represents a novel advancement intended to help surgeons leverage the power of robotics and data analytics to perform highly complex shoulder procedures with accuracy and efficiency.”

Like its predecessors, Rosa Shoulder can help plan out a procedure ahead of time based on 3D imaging scans of the patient’s anatomy, then provides surgical guidance in real time. The system can also help steer instruments into incisions without requiring extra pins implanted in the shoulder joint. 

The robotic system—set to ship in the second half of 2024—is expected to dovetail with Zimmer’s recent Identity shoulder replacement implant, which is also slated to see a full commercial rollout over the course of this year. The upcoming launch was highlighted by Tornos earlier this month as part of the company’s “growth-stage era,” with Zimmer forecasting between 4.5% and 5.5% annual sales growth.

The company also announced a global restructuring program that aims to save about $100 million per year through 2025—including layoffs affecting about 3% of its 18,000 employees as well as inventory reduction initiatives.