In 1978, Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive line captain Mark Nordquist and lawyer Ken Reed founded a small company in a Carlsbad, California garage. They named the new company DonJoy® after their wives, Donna and Joy.
The first products of DonJoy® were simple support sleeves constructed of neoprene pieces stitched together and pulled over the knee, ankle and elbow joints. In 1980, the product line added an off-the-shelf rigid knee support device called the 4-point knee brace – and the timing couldn’t have been better. The modern era of sports medicine was in its infancy, and products like DonJoy’s were suddenly in high demand. Throughout the next two decades, the small business grew rapidly
- In 1987, the London-based medical devices conglomerate Smith & Nephew took notice of the growing company and bought DonJoy® for $20 million.
- In 1995 DonJoy acquired ProCare®, a leading orthopedic soft goods company.
- By the late 1990s DonJoy was generating approximately $100 million in annual revenues.
- In 1999, the DonJoy management team arranged a leveraged buyout and changed the name from DonJoy to DJ Orthopedics. They took the company public again in 2001.
Over the next several years, DJO® grew at an unprecedented rate, acquiring all or part of seven new companies:
- Depuy®* soft goods
- Orthologic®* bone growth stimulation
- Durakold cold therapy products
- Axmed superior medical equipment
- Encore® orthopedic soft goods
- Aircast® bracing and support devices
Following the Aircast® acquisition in 2006, the company name changed to DJO® Incorporated to better reflect the broad range of product lines it now provided.
In 2007, the company’s fortunes changed forever when the Blackstone Group purchased DJO®. Once again, DJO became a privately held company.
Blackstone merged DJO® with another Blackstone-owned company, Reable Therapeutics, which included the Empi®, Chattanooga® and Encore® product lines; the combined companies adopted the DJO name. Virtually overnight, DJO changed the orthopedic devices industry with its unrivaled offering of rehabilitation, pain therapy, physical therapy, and surgical reconstructive implants.
Over the past several years, DJO® has purchased several of its overseas distributors in key locations, including Australia, Canada, South Africa, and Tunisia. These strategic acquisitions give the company almost total control over the sales and distribution of its products in the more than three dozen countries it serves.
Today, DJO® continues to grow its product offerings with strategic acquisitions, including Bell-Horn®, Elastic Therapy, and Dr. Comfort®. In the first quarter of 2019, Colfax Corporation, a publicly-traded, diversified technology company, acquired DJO® as the foundation of their new strategic growth platform in the healthcare space.
From its humble beginnings in a California garage, DJO® has evolved into a billion-dollar company. Today, with more than five thousand employees in more than a dozen facilities around the world, DJO Global is dedicated to enabling people to live their lives to the fullest by providing intelligent medical devices and services from injury prevention to rehabilitation.
*Smith & Nephew® is a registered trademark of SMITH & NEPHEW PLC. Depuy® is a registered trademark of DEPUY SYNTHES, INC.