Dave’s Story

dave holding the ascender knee brace

The winter season. ‘Tis the season of hot chocolate, fireplaces, endless layering, and hitting the slopes. Until your knee pain interrupts all of the festivities.

At Icarus Medical, we understand the debilitating impact of knee pain all too well. Dave, the CEO and Founder of Icarus Medical, was tired of letting his knee pain stop him from living his winters and life to the fullest.

After multiple unsuccessful surgeries and ineffective knee braces, Dave was fed up. He needed a solution, and he needed one that
actually worked. Thus, Icarus Medical and the Ascender knee brace were born.

This Is Dave's Story

At just 15 years old, Dave had a bright future ahead of him as a talented high school football player. However, a severe knee injury dealt a devastating blow to his aspirations. Despite Dave’s optimism and his doctors’ optimism, no one could have foreseen the severity of the injury and its lasting impact on Dave’s future. 

It wasn’t until Dave’s early 20s that his knee issues resurfaced, and his knee pain returned with a burning vengeance. This time, there was no ignoring it. Dave was diagnosed with a cartilage defect that would eventually lead to his arthritis, making him even more susceptible to further injury. The next thing Dave knew, his knee bone was directly exposed to his joint. 

Despite his efforts to avoid it, an orthopedic surgeon delivered the devastating news to Dave: he would need surgery. He had tried every possible alternative, including injections and physical therapy, but to no avail. His symptoms had become unbearable, leaving him with no other choice but to go through with the surgery.


Before his surgery, Dave lived a vibrant and active lifestyle fueled by his love for sports and adventure. Whether playing softball, snowboarding, wakeboarding, kiteboarding or participating in city sports, Dave was always up for the challenge. However, Dave’s once-active lifestyle came crashing down after his first surgery. 

The surgery that was supposed to alleviate his knee pain only worsened, and by his early thirties, he was counting down the days until he would need a complete joint replacement. Despite being so young with so much life left to live, the thought of undergoing such a significant surgery felt like a last resort. He knew that after the procedure, he would never be able to live the active life he wanted to. It was a devastating realization. 

The news was a heavy blow for Dave, who had been hoping for a different outcome. It was heartbreaking for him to realize that all his efforts to find relief had been in vain. But with no other options, he steeled himself for the journey ahead and prepared for the life-changing procedure.


When he was 32, Dave’s best friend invited him to celebrate his birthday with a week-long snowboarding trip. He was ecstatic at the thought of spending a week doing what he loved most: snowboarding and spending time with friends. But after years of living with knee pain that hindered his ability to enjoy life, Dave wasn’t about to let it stop him from going on this trip. 

With his background in chemical engineering, Dave worked tirelessly to find a solution. He started scouring the online marketplace, eBay, for old and used knee braces, which he took apart, tested, and then modified with a custom-made torsion spring to provide him with the extra support he needed while snowboarding. This unique approach allowed him to enjoy his beloved snowboarding once again, free from pain and with renewed confidence.

The Solution

As he took his first run down, he felt a rush of joy and relief as he glided down the mountain as if his knee was good as new. For the rest of the trip, Dave could snowboard like old times, relishing the freedom from knee pain he had not felt in such a long time. As the seasons passed, Dave poured his passion and ingenuity into making each knee brace lighter, more compact, and better. 

His hard work paid off when he created his first brace with a tensioning dial, allowing users to customize their support level. Word quickly spread about the effectiveness of Dave’s brace, and soon people from all around were clamoring to get their hands on one. With his background in chemical engineering, Dave harnessed the power of advanced 3D printing technologies and began producing his knee braces digitally. And thus, the Ascender Zero was born.

dave holding a knee brace with another person

Supporting Others

His journey inspired Dave to help millions of people struggling with the same problem. The Ascender’s variable-tension system means you can gradually dial up or down as needed to stay at your peak performance level from the first chair to the last call.

Additionally, the Ascender’s medical-grade design and construction mean your knee is better protected from giving out or buckling, giving you peace of mind and greater enjoyment on the powder. At Icarus Medical, we’re dedicated to empowering you to live an active lifestyle free from knee pain. Discover how the Ascender Brace can transform your life and get you back to doing what you love. See how you can get your personalized Ascender knee brace today.

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Most braces are covered by insurance and the average cost is under $200!

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