New Findings Conclude That BioniCare® Combined with Knee Brace Provides Significant Improvement and Faster Recovery

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Treatment Option Gives Hope to 20 Million Living With Osteoarthritis of the Knee


A new study published in The American Journal of Orthopedics concluded that 70 percent of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee who were treated with BioniCare, a non-invasive pulsed electrical stimulator from VQ OrthoCare®, combined with an unloading brace for the knee, showed significant clinical benefit as determined by standard outcomes used to measure improvement for osteoarthritis of the knee. Unlike TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator), which stimulates nerves and only blocks pain , BioniCare was specifically designed to deliver electrical signals to the joint to decrease pain and help regain function. BioniCare is cleared by the FDA for the relief of pain and associated symptoms of osteoarthritis the knee and for overall improvement of the knee as assessed by the Physicians Global Evaluation.

An earlier Johns Hopkins University study, published in Orthopedics in 2006, showed that more than 60 percent of patients who were treated with BioniCare for one year were able to avoid a total knee replacement for the next four years. This was significantly different from control patients who were given best medical therapy at Johns Hopkins University, without BioniCare, as only10 percent were able to avoid surgery.

The new study, led by Dr. David S Hungerford, a Johns Hopkins University orthopedic surgeon, demonstrated that BioniCare, combined with an unloading brace for the knee, produced substantial improvement much more rapidly and to a greater degree at the end of one year than the BioniCare treatment alone in more than 500 patients. The study also concludes that the rapid, as well as overall increased improvement with the combination of BioniCare and unloading brace for the knee will further increase the ability to defer total knee replacement surgery.

“Although any age can be affected, osteoarthritis is increasingly prevalent with advancing age. Up to 20 million patients are affected and as many as 600,000 are severe enough to have a total knee replacement annually. Although this is a wonderful and highly successful operation, it is expensive and potentially dangerous. This new study in The American Journal of Orthopedics shows that there is now an effective non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical way to not only reduce symptoms, but also maintain or even increase physical activity,” said Dr. David S. Hungerford, lead author and professor emeritus, Department of Orthopedic Surgery Johns Hopkins University. “These results clearly demonstrate that by combining BioniCare with the unloading brace for the knee, faster and better results are achieved.”

Each year of the more than 600,000 patients, who require total knee joint replacements, one in 150 will die of total knee replacement surgery. Another five percent have major complications, including heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, and infections in the joints. The results of this new study have important implications to the healthcare system related to the potential savings from deferral of surgery, as well as the reduced drug usage, and complications from NSAIDs.

An earlier actuarial study by Milliman Global estimated that approximately $400 million per year could be saved, as a result of decreased costs of knee surgery by treatment with BioniCare alone. Similarly, treatment with BioniCare alone for one year resulted in 18 percent of patients being able to discontinue all pain and arthritis medications. Another 25 percent reduced their use of these drugs by 50 percent or more. The drug reductions and discontinuations from BioniCare treatment alone has the potential to generate more than $1 billion in savings to the U.S. healthcare system.

In May of 2013, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons published evidence-based guidelines stating that the overall effects of hyaluronic acid injections did not provide minimum clinically important improvements to patients. With little in the way of alternative treatments between NSAIDs and total knee replacement surgery, the combination of BioniCare and a unloading brace for the knee is a welcomed addition to the armamentarium of physicians treating osteoarthritis of the knee.

For more information on BioniCare, visit:

About VQ OrthoCare®:
Founded in 1989 and based in Irvine, Calif., VQ OrthoCare® is a leading manufacturer and provider of non-invasive medical solutions focused on bone, joint and soft-tissue conditions. VQ OrthoCare's commitment to treating patients with respect and supporting them in achieving optimum outcomes is unmatched in the industry. VQ OrthoCare’s products include: SurgiStim4, OrthoStim4, Eagle, Catalyst-Elite and OActive knee bracing, Fast Start EMS and HVPC, VQ Vector, and the BioniCare systems (knee and hand/wrist). VQ OrthoCare is registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a medical manufacturer and specification developer.

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Jesse Page

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