New Orthopedic Devices and the FDA Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Each year the field of orthopedics is introduced to an influx of new medical devices. Each of these medical devices has faced certain hurdles prior to being approved for marketing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Among the regulatory pathways available, the 510(k) premarket notification is by far the one most commonly used. The 510(k) premarket notification allows the manufacturer to receive prompt approval of their device by demonstrating that it is "substantially equivalent" to an existing legally marketed device. In most instances, this proof of substantial equivalence allows manufacturers of medical devices to bypass the use of clinical trials, which are a hallmark of the approval process for new drugs. As a result, most medical devices are approved without demonstrating safety or effectiveness. This article reviews the regulatory processes used by the FDA to evaluate new orthopedic devices.


  • Sheth, Ujash
  • Nguyen, Nhu-An
  • Gaines, Sean
  • Bhandari, Mohit
  • Mehlman, Charles T
  • Klein, Guy

publication date

  • 2009