New Brace May Offer Quick Relief From Knee Pain

By Arezow Doost, CBS 11 News

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Three months ago, Greenville resident Darron Drennon couldn’t walk without a cane because of the pain in his left knee. Drennon, 44, has a passion for being active, and he was fed up with being unable to play basketball or baseball.

But his doctor had a tough solution for him: A knee replacement.

“I’ve been dealing with knee pain for probably seven-and-a-half, maybe eight years,” he said. “I was concerned; I figured I was a little young to be down on my knees.”

But another option for Drennon was a special sleeve called Bionicare. It straps on like a regular knee brace, and is meant to be worn for about six hours a day.

The device delivers a pulsed electrical signal to the knee, which doctors say helps create healthy cartilage. Drennon vouched for it.

“I have no pain or anything,” he said.

He’s worn his Bionicare for three months, and he said he hasn’t incurred any side effects. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. John McConnell said the new treatment is an option for patients who are hesitant to go under the knife.

“It’s particularly useful when you have younger patients who you really want to avoid doing knee joint replacement because of their age,” McConnell said. “Sometimes also an older patient, because of their health, would rather not undergo surgery.”

McConnell said some of his patients have noticed relief in a matter of days. Drennon was one of those.

“I don’t have to have my cane anymore,” he said. “I don’t have to have crutches.”

Bionicare is FDA approved, and covered by many insurance companies. Doctors also advise those with knee problems to lose weight, which can help take pressure off the knees; exercise more, which keeps the knee strong; strengthen the quadriceps, as 90 percent of knee stability involves the quads; and see an orthopedic surgeon if problems arise.


    Aiming to have right knee surgery in 2011 but had sure rather not. I would be so interested in doing this instead.. Please let me know if I need to go to Dallas or does a Ft. Worth area doctor do this.

  • Gene Hooper

    Are there any doctors in Tarrant County using the bionicare?

  • Jackie Meyers

    My 81 year old father has cartilage damage from playing high school sports. Can’t have knee replacement surgery, due to chronic heart failure and blood thinners. Would love to get him in for a consult with a doctor about this device. Anything to help him feel more stable on his pins would be a G-d-send at this point.

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  • schrodinger

    I have insurance with a huge deductible ($10,000!!) because that’s all I could afford. That insurance also doesn’t cover things like this and I don’t qualify for Medicaid (according to them, I make too much and I don’t have children). I’m too young for Medicare. How much is something like this costing, if I were to pay for it out of pocket? Also, can I get a payment plan? This looks to be a lot cheaper than the surgery (which I can’t afford, either, even with my so-called “insurance”). Would it cost less than one of my monthly premiums? If so, I might dump this worthless insurance and use the money that I’ve been spending on premiums, copays, co-insurance and deductibles to actually pay my doctor.

  • Betty Berry

    sounds great where do i find the doctor

  • Rick Cooper

    This device sounds like great news for persons who can’t have knee replacement surgery. Are there any doctors in the Arlington or Tarrant County area using this device.

  • b.k. beadles

    would like more info on this.

  • silla

    Is this a prescription item, is it available nationwide. What is the cost

  • Clyde Biggins

    I’ve been batlling severe pain in my left knee for the past 5-6 years. Have been to 2 ortho. Dr’s and had several MRI’s and know that I need to have surgery due to torn cartlidge. Thanks to insurance, I have not been able to have any surgery due to the high deductiable. Something like this is exactly what I need. I wonder will I need to pat the cost of deductiable for somethinglike this?

  • George Campbell

    My doctor has recomended full knee replacement. I’m 68, in good helath otherwise. Would like to contcat Dr. Mc Connell. Can you provide his contact info?

  • Janice Townzen

    Please give me the info for Dr. John McConnell — does he work in the DFW area?


  • JBJones

    click on the bionicare link in the story – only one doctor in Decatur is listed on the web site

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