So how did the town of Warsaw, Ind., with about 12,000 residents and two hours from Chicago, get to become the “orthopedics capital of the world”?
According to a study done by a life sciences group, with more than a dozen orthopedic manufacturing companies like Zimmer, DePuy and Biomet based in the town, Warsaw’s collective enterprise earns more than $11 billion in annual revenues, representing better than a 50-percent market share in the U.S. and more than a 33-percent market share in the world.
In 1895, Revra DePuy founded DePuy Manufacturing in Warsaw to make wire mesh and wooden splints, becoming the world's first manufacturer of orthopedic appliances. A few of his employees later split off and formed their own manufacturing plants, and the rest is medical history.
A study done by Kosciusko County says its orthopedic industry cluster makes a significant contribution to the regional and state economy, employing about 6,800 workers and representing nearly one in every four jobs in the county. This level of employment ranks alongside Orange and Los Angeles counties in California, and Minneapolis, Minn., as the largest medical device work forces in the country.