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ArthroCare's Next Act

Executive Summary

Ten years ago, ArthroCare was just one of dozens of small medical device start-ups to have gone public in the IPO boom of 1995 and 1996. But while most of ArthroCare's classmates in what has come to be known as the Class of '96 have disappeared, ArthroCare is a fast-growing, self-sustaining public company. Its core technology-a radio-frequency-based ablation tool called Coblation--results in faster healing times, with a fraction of the pain of other modalities that remove tissue. It has thus been picked up by a number of physican specialities including ENT surgeons and orthopedic surgeons, and for a large number of applications. ArthroCare now faces a host of new challenges, most notably, how to continue to capitalize and build on its proprietary plasma-mediated technology and, in the process, how to sustain that growth and the share price rewards that come with it.

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