Clinical Nutrition For Injury/Surgery: Market Dynamics and Size


Clinical Nutrition For Injury/Surgery: Market Dynamics and Size

Eziah Syed

In this article

An enormous nascent and growing opportunity for Retailers

MEND has been conducting a series of studies to understand the consumer interest in utilizing targeted nutrition to aid recovery from injury or surgical trauma to tissue. We have surveyed patients across general surgery, physical therapy and cosmetic surgery and based on the interest and responses, we have sized these markets.

What is clear from the data is that there is overwhelming consumer interest and the market is extremely large. From a supply side, this is a nascent category and retailers have an enormous opportunity to capitalize on this new segment which is poised for rapid growth. In this article, we look at the consumer and medical professional attitudes towards clinical nutrition and estimate the market potential for retail.

Defining Clinical Nutrition

Normally, an individual can obtain the necessary nutrients for his/her body through their daily diet. However, there are circumstances, such as disease, stress, and trauma, that may prevent the body from obtaining sufficient nutrients through diet alone. In these situations, dietary supplementation of specifically formulated products may be required to fill the void created by the specific condition. This is clinical nutrition and it can refer to products utilized in hospitals, outpatient clinics or at home to improve healing outcomes.

Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedic Injuries by the Numbers

Every year there are roughly 70 million health care visits in the United States related to musculoskeletal injuries, costing roughly $175 billion in treatment costs [1]. According to WebPT, half of all Americans over the age of 18 (~100 million people) will develop an injury that lasts more than three months [2]. The injuries range from fractures, sprains, strains to wounds; all of which place stress on the body and increase the need for nutrition. Depending on the severity of the trauma, the body’s needs for additional nutrition may increase by as much as 50%. And numerous clinical studies have shown that recovery can be enhanced with targeted nutrition.

Orthopedic Patient Attitudes

We surveyed more than 800 patients to learn about attitudes. In our physical therapy patient survey, 91% of patients indicated that they believe nutrition is important to their recovery and that they would value a clinical nutrition product recommended by an expert. That’s roughly 91 million people per year that would be interested in a musculoskeletal recovery product.

Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic Surgery by the Numbers

In 2019, there were roughly 18 million cosmetic procedures and 6 million reconstructive procedures in the United States [3]. Cosmetic patients are concerned about bruising, inflammation, and rapid recovery, so they can quickly eliminate the visible signs of having had surgery. Again, the role of nutrition cannot be underestimated. For example, arnica has long been utilized by cosmetic practices to help their patients with bruising. It is well understood that glutamine becomes conditionally essential post stress of surgery.

Cosmetic Patient Attitudes

Similar to orthopedic patients, the cosmetic patients understand the importance of nutrition to their healing and recovery. 92% indicated that nutrition is very important for recovery from cosmetic procedures and indicated that they would value a professional product. This creates an annual market of roughly 22 million people that would be interested in a cosmetic surgery nutrition product.

Are the Professionals on Board?

More and more surgeons, doctors, physical therapists and other healthcare professionals are embracing clinical nutrition. According to some studies, 3 in 5 doctors believe nutrition supplementation would improve patient outcomes. In talking to numerous doctors at hospitals where MEND has been implemented, we’re consistently hearing that clinical nutrition is a hot topic and that there is a buzz around nutrition that is increasing with more and more clinical evidence. Here is some feedback from leaders in orthopedics and aesthetics:

Dr. Michael Suk (Chair Geisinger Musculoskeletal Institute): “MEND aligns with our philosophy of multi-modal care. This new intervention will enhance patient care.”

Dr. Robert Marx (Orthopedic Surgeon, Hospital for Special Surgery): “There is established evidence that MEND can impact both the quality of healing and the time needed for healing.”

Dr. Gregory A. Buford (Cosmetic Surgeon, Owner Beauty by Buford): “We have standardized MEND with all of our patients and are seeing great results.

Dr. Kyle Anderson (Owner Anderson Sports Medicine, Team Physician Detroit Lions): “I am very impressed with MEND’s science and the caliber of medical and sports clients.

Dr. Ashlin Alexander (Cosmetic Surgeon, Owner FACE): “My patients who are taking MEND are getting almost zero bruising.”

Mindy Lewis (Director of Operations, Geisinger): “I’ve heard from our ortho colleagues that MEND has been a great alternative for them. Do you have any formulas that may represent the need for non-ortho patients.

Dr. Joshua Dines (Orthopedic Surgeon, Hospital for Special Surgery): “Impressive. We use it with the Mets. I will be recommending MEND to all of my patients.”

Dr. Neil Sheth (Chief of Orthopedics at Pennsylvania Hospital): “I have been discussing nutrition with my colleagues for more than a decade. I want to make MEND standard of care here at Penn.

Leading hospitals such as Penn Medicine, Hospital for Special Surgery, Rothman Orthopeadic Institute, and Mayo Clinic have implemented MEND, as have leading national physical therapy chains such as Professional Physical Therapy and Ivy Rehab. It is clear that professionals are heading in this direction.

The Outlook

As evidenced by the market numbers and survey data in just the orthopedics and cosmetic segments, the market is enormous and growing. We believe that targeted clinical nutrition will become standard care and this will create a massive opportunity for retail to bring new clients into their stores. Patients will discuss nutrition with their healthcare providers and increasingly look for professionally recommended products in the shopping aisles. This multi-billion dollar segment is up for grabs.


We have developed a portfolio of nutrition supplement products that are supported by evidence and being utilized by leaders in medicine. Our products are natural, produced to the highest standards of quality at FDA certified NSF/cGMP labs in the United States.