Rebalancing painful conditions

Interdisciplinary treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee at RebalanceMD, Canada

From Bauerfeind Life Magazin on 13.04.2022

In short RebalanceMD, one of Canada’s most innovative sports and orthopedics clinics, uses the GenuTrain OA in early treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee.

  • “Bauerfeind’s innovative products, like the GenuTrain OA, are very important to our clinic because they allow patients to be more functional“. says CEO Stefan Fletcher.
  • “After years of using hard-frame braces, the brace is the new standard in the early phase of treating osteoarthritis of the knee, a real game changer,” explains Dr. James Stone, surgeon. He primarily uses the brace for symptomatic treatment in cases of functional deficits.
  • Marc Henly, knee expert and Head of the Supports and Braces Department, emphasizes the patients’ high level of compliance with the relieving knee brace, in addition to its suitability for pain therapy.

Schmerzpatienten wieder ins Gleichgewicht bringen

When you are suffering from musculoskeletal disorders, it would be a long and arduous undertaking to travel in Canada, one of the world’s largest countries with vast distances to be overcome. At RebalanceMD Sports Clinic, however, the patient journey is short, low-pain and highly efficient. A model for success in which the “game-changing” GenuTrain OA brace has also played its part.

Dr. James Stone, orthopädischer Chirurg bei RebalanceMD.
Dr. James Stone, orthopedic surgeon at RebalanceMD.

Fletcher had been pursuing his dream for a long time until it became reality in 2013. The physical therapist founded RebalanceMD with like-minded colleagues and physicians in Victoria, a town on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. It is an orthopedic specialist clinic devoted to the rapid rebalancing of acute, sub-acute and chronic muscle as well as skeletal disorders and sports injuries for the benefit of its patients. The interdisciplinary teams that are part of RebalanceMD treat around 25,000 – 30,000 patients per year. These teams consist of surgeons, sports physicians, physical therapists and orthotics experts. Focusing on effectiveness and the latest research findings, the treatment center unites physicians and other health care professionals in one location, all within easy each.

Treating osteoarthritis of the knee early

“The goals of our patients are our goals,” explains CEO Stefan Fletcher. “We want their patient journey to start earlier and to lead to success more quickly and efficiently. To do this, we use all methods of conservative treatment that promote mobility and load-bearing capacity. With the right experts in the right place at the right time.” Such as Dr. James Stone, one of RebalanceMD’s orthopedic surgeons. For early and more effective treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee the expert approves an early use of relieving knee braces that put a stop to inappropriate mechanical stress. In the field of orthotics, RebalanceMD has been working closely with Bauerfeind for many years.

Marc Henly, Spezialist für Orthesen und Bandagen bei RebalanceMD.
Marc Henly, orthotic and brace specialist at RebalanceMD.

The GenuTrain OA was recently included in the clinic’s portfolio. When used early, the brace can minimize the risk of continuing cartilage wear and counteract pain from becoming chronic. After years of using hard-frame braces, the flexible GenuTrain OA is now the new standard in treating osteoarthritis of the knee and “a real game changer” according to Dr. James Stone. “I primarily use it for the symptomatic treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee, when functional deficits are already present. They are often accompanied by pain caused by strain. Pain can also occur at rest and cause problems with sleep at night.”

Less pain, more comfort

Marc Henly especially cares about the daily worries and needs of patients suffering from knee problems who can no longer carry out their usual activities. The foot and knee expert helps manage the Supports and Braces Department. “We see both injured young athletes and older patients. The GenuTrain OA is good at alleviating pain for all of them. It’s easy to put on, and our patients appreciate that. And once they have adjusted the dial to get the correct tension, they’re ready for the day. I don’t just recommend this brace to my patients but also to friends and family members who are affected.”

“RebalanceMD represents our holistic approach to restoring our patients’ mobility and providing a healthy balance.”

Stefan Fletcher, CEO
Stefan Fletcher, Geschäftsführer

Vision for expansion

But many of those affected are not as close-by as family and friends. RebalanceMD patients come from far and wide, including Vancouver, which is a three-hour car ride from Victoria. The journey is even longer for many of Canada’s inhabitants. Finding a clinic nearby, with the kind of expertise provided by the center on the Pacific coast, is like an odyssey and practically impossible. At least for now.

Stefan Fletcher has big plans: he is committed to “democratize the Canadian clinical landscape,” as he calls it. He wants to create new orthopedic specialist clinics based on the successful model of RebalanceMD, one of Canada’s most innovative sports and orthopedics clinics. They are intended to offer the same comprehensive diagnostics and treatment concept as well as quick appointments. “RebalanceMD represents our holistic approach to restoring our patients’ mobility and providing a healthy balance – from pre-therapeutic training as well as conservative and surgical treatment to rehabilitation,” says Stefan Fletcher. “Our focus is nothing less than long-term well-being.”

Medicare in Canada

The health care and reimbursement system in Canada, Medicare, is organized by the government, but implemented in different ways by the individual provinces. The system is mainly financed by taxes. Each province has its own health insurance rates and covers basic medical services. The standard of care is relatively high, though long waiting times and delays are not uncommon, even emergency departments. In order to see a specialist or visit a specialist clinic, patients need a referral from their family physician. In British Columbia, the home province of RebalanceMD, neither physiotherapy nor braces are reimbursed. Patients pay themselves or via their private health, car, or work insurance. Services or medical aids, such as the ­GenuTrain OA, must be prescribed by a physician to warrant reimbursement by the insurance provider.

Images: RebalanceMD

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