HILLSBORO -- A third of Americans have chronic knee pain with the most common being osteoarthritis.

That's a wearing away of the knee's cartilage. But a new device called Bionicare gives patients an option to invasive knee surgery.

Step by step up a flight of stairs, 58-year-old Tom Carey is getting his life back.

Walking up stairs, I'd have to hold on to the railing, couldn't run up and down like I used to be able to, Carey said.

After a debilitating injury and two knee surgeries, not only was Tom's knee nearly shot, but his hope dwindling.

As I got older, it got worse and worse to the point that the surgeon said I was going to need a total knee replacement.

That's until Tom found Bionicare. A simple electronic sleeve that sends the knee's cartilage an electrical current the patient can't feel. The currents mimic what our bodies do on a daily basis to keep the cartilage healthy.

This stimulates the cartilage cells to maintain healthy cartilage, so Bionicare recreates this electrical current which leads to decrease pain, increase function of the joint, Carey's doctor, Greg Carroll, explained.

Meaning that Bionicare has preserved the little bit of cartilage left in Tom's knee and made him pain free.

The improvement is just unbelievable, Tom said smiling. The patient wears the sleeve 8 to 9 hours a day for up to nine months, plus physical therapy, and Dr. Carroll says it actually mimics the results of knee surgery.

I don't have a clue how it works. It doesn t matter to me. All I know is that it works, said Carey.

Dr. Carroll said the device also works on those with no cartilage left., it just takes longer to see improvement And insurance pays for most it.

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