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DJO is a leading global provider of high-quality, orthopaedic devices, with a broad range of market leading products used for rehabilitation, pain management and physical therapy. They also develop, manufacture and distribute a broad range of surgical reconstructive implant products. They are the largest non-surgical orthopaedic rehabilitation device company in the United States and among the largest globally, as measured by revenues.
DJO's beginnings are linked to professional sports. The company was founded in the Carlsbad, California garage of Philadelphia Eagles football player Mark Nordquist in 1978. Nordquist, who wrapped an old inner tube around his unstable knee for support, teamed up with two of his friends to explore the possibilities of neoprene. The first products for the company - then named simply DonJoy after two of the men's wives, Donna and Joy - were "knee sleeves" constructed from old neoprene wetsuits. This innovative concept attracted interest and the company soon embarked on a research and engineering programme that would advance the world of bracing.
In 1987, DonJoy was purchased by Smith & Nephew Inc. and ProCare was acquired in 1995. Then known as the Bracing and Support Systems division of Smith and Nephew, the company launched four top-of-the-line knee braces including the Defiance and Legend functional knee braces which put DonJoy on the map. The Defiance, designed for active adult and adolescent patients with moderate to severe knee ligament instabilities, became the company's flagship product. By completely customising the product to suit the patient's individual needs and providing a low profile, lightweight brace with a lifetime guarantee, top athletes could be confident in returning to their sport of choice. The Legend, meanwhile, became the top ‘patient-ready’ brace for active adults and adolescents. These key products served as a foundation that helped DonJoy tap its full potential as an orthopaedic products provider.
In 1999, Chase Capital Partners (CCP), Fairfield Chase Medical Partners and senior management acquired the company. Shortly after the acquisition, the company changed its name to dj Orthopaedics the first of many steps designed to expand and reposition the company within the sports medicine industry.
In 2006 they introduced their regeneration range of products bone growth stimulation devices that are used to treat non-union fractures. That year, they changed their name to DJO and completed their acquisition of Aircast, a leading global ankle brace, cold therapy and vascular system manufacturer based in the US.
In November 2007, DJO merged with ReAble, a leading manufacturer and distributor of clinical electrotherapy products, physical therapy products and a range of leading edge surgical implants, Acquired by an affiliate of Blackstone the previous year, ReAble was best known for its leading brands that include Encore®(now DJO surgical), CefarCompex®, Empi®, Ormed®, and Chattanooga Group™.
DJO is committed to continued investment in research and development to fulfil their mission to improve lives by developing leading medical devices that become the standard of care in the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal conditions.
It’s proud of its reputation as both a leading edge innovator, and as an invaluable source of expertise and support to the clinician in the field. The company has a long history of commitment to clinical research and development both in-house and through collaborating with reputable clinical and biomechanical institutions around the world. At their Californian headquarters in Vista, they have a ‘Biomechanics Lab’ where they can rigorously test the efficacy of all their products. This Lab was instrumental in the development of their patented ‘Four Points of Leverage’ bracing methodology. In 1993, DJO built its own Clinical Education & Research Facility (CERF) which was the first of its kind in the US. Virtually any open or arthroscopic orthopaedic surgical procedure can be recreated or performed in the lab, making CERF an invaluable educational tool and resource for all levels of practicing health care professionals. This facility is frequently used by orthopaedic surgeons from across the globe for surgical skills training and the development of new or innovative orthopaedic surgical techniques.
Recently DJO introduced their first in a series of clinical publications through their new publishing house, DJO Publications. Their aim is to bring some of the World’s leading experts together with a view to discussing current consensus (or controversy) and a global approach to an orthopaedic or medical problem. The first publication in the ‘Current Concepts in Orthopaedics’ is ‘Current Concepts in Achilles Tendon Rupture’ which is the culmination of the work of The Achilles Tendon Study Group (AT Study Group) which has, over the last fifteen months, gathered to discuss the best available evidence and expert opinion on the aetiology, diagnosis and treatment of Achilles tendon ruptures. Having examined in depth the international achievements and directions taken by this distinguished group of authors, the AT Study Group presented their findings at a special symposium at ESSKA in May 2008.
DJO’s product ranges are sold in over 50 countries through wholly-owned subsidiaries or independent distributors, primarily in the USA, Europe, Canada, Australia and Japan. The company continues to look to the future, broadening its product offerings to include a wide array of solutions for the orthopaedic, sports medicine and rehabilitation industry and is committed to ‘Never Stop Getting Better’.
For further information, please read our ‘Company History’