Your Flexible Friend

DJO Global

In a recent interview, General Manager Andrew Weir explained that DJO Global’s products have been available in Australia for some thirty years through the brands of Donjoy, Aircast, Procare and Chattanooga. Operating as a direct subsidiary of the US parent for the last four years, the company has started to really motor. Fuelled by a raft of innovative new ideas (the parent company has been ambitiously acquisitive in the last few years too) as well as expansion of the ‘sports medicine’ market, the company has experienced an average twenty per cent growth per year and now employs thirty plus staff, with distribution nationwide through its Sydney headquarters and strategically located warehousing.

The US and Australian physiques are not radically different, but there is a central cultural distinction between the countries’ sports in that US sports tend to include rigid support for ankles, knees or elbow whereas in the rest of the world, such support needs to be flexible because of the contact element. Accordingly, DJO Global sells more to the off-pitch market here by comparison.

The company’s products are founded on five pillars: bracing and support; recovery (physiotherapy and treatment tables); vascular (compression devices); surgical; and the Dr Comfort range of diabetic shoes and compression hosiery.

It is important to understand that sports medicine covers far more than injuries to athletes. Although Andrew explained that, “sports is definitely an area for growth and future potential,” that does not limit the innovative element in the company’s products as industry-leading new solutions are presently being launched that will benefit injured patients of a wide range of athletic abilities and seriousness of injury. Product Development Manager Mitch Barry added that several previously overlooked products have now been revived, as well.

A case in point is Airselect, an addition to the Aircast range (which this author, laid low with torn ankle ligaments, wished he was wearing during the interview!), an advanced walking boot engineered to provide the ultimate in protection, comfort, and oedema control in cases involving stable fractures of the lower leg, foot, and ankle; severe ankle sprains; and post-operative use.

Clinically proven to be effective in healing fractures and managing oedema, the boot features overlapping posterior and distal duplex air-filled cells to provide intermittent compression, a pre-inflated front panel cell, a custom inflation system providing a full-contact fit and an enclosed toe cover for protection from hazards and the elements.

Andrew and Mitch told us that the US reports unprecedented interest in these novel products worldwide, even among medical administrators who are attracted by their cost-effectiveness – compare fitting an Exos brace with the labour-intensity of a conventional cast, for example. So while we cannot actually recommend spraining an ankle just to road-test them, these products will certainly ease the pain of recovery should you be unlucky enough to do so!

Stem Cells

The scientific study of stem cells has existed for a long time and has already contributed greatly to modern medicine. As scientific inquiry continues to advance and as discoveries gain more traction and acceptance in the scientific and medical communities, the true breadth and potential of this area of study can start to be realized.

April 27, 2018, 9:02 AM AEST

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