It's funny how sweeping predictions can be wrong, but still lead to the right conclusions.

Take the case of orthopedics company Biomet (NASDAQ:BMET). While the pricing Armageddon that some investors feared hasn't yet occurred, the stock still hasn't gone anywhere in the past year, and results for this quarter weren't exactly stellar.

Reported revenue rose 5% (8% excluding currency), with double-digit growth overseas. While reconstructive products sold reasonably well (up 10%), the company's fixation and spinal business is still performing poorly, with growth of just 2% and 3%, respectively.

Profitability was likewise less than stellar. True, reported net income and earnings per share were up by double-digit amounts on a reported basis, but if you adjust the year-ago numbers for certain acquisition-related items, growth was in the single digits.

I suppose the bright side of this is that the company is still growing. Worldwide knee sales were 9% higher this quarter, hip sales were 11% higher, and the company still has technology that should keep it competitive in a market with some attractive long-term fundamentals.

Of course, there's always the risk that things will get worse before they get better. Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) is suing the company on some patent matters. That may not be a big deal in absolute financial terms, but it could generate some headline risk. What's more, management's guidance isn't exactly bubbling with optimism for a near-term turnaround in growth prospects.

If you're looking for best-of-breed in orthopedics, you probably want Stryker (NYSE:SYK), in my opinion. But if you're more interested in a company that could conceivably gain share, grow faster than the market (eventually), and perhaps even be attractive to someone as a buyout candidate, Biomet might be the one for you.

All the same, just remember that good products and a robust market opportunity (all those creaky baby boomer knees and hips) don't guarantee success.

For more limber Foolishness:

Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).