TISSUE BANK EMPLOYEE REFLECTS ON SECOND CHANCE AT HEALTHY LIFE THANKS TO THE GIFT OF DONATION

SARAH – RECIPIENT OF: JUVENILE CARTILAGE ALLOGRAFT

It was the holidays and Sarah was a young professional excited about her new job in the finance department of a large Denver company. Fun-loving and outgoing, Sarah was happy to offer up her talents for the playful “Stupid Human Tricks” competition at the company’s annual year end party.

Sarah’s trick was a squirm-inducing move she’d been doing since she was a little girl: rising up on her tiptoes, she would rotate her feet until her toes were pointing straight behind her body, with her legs still together. But the trick didn’t go smoothly this time.

“My ankle popped; I thought I broke it,” Sarah said. “The pain was so bad. It was horrible.”

During an initial trip to the doctor, Sarah’s injury was misdiagnosed as a sprain. She went home hoping it would heal on its own. For the next several years Sarah tried to deal with the pain, but her ankle was never the same. The injury began to take a serious toll on her active lifestyle: she could no longer do the things she loved, including skiing and running. She would push herself to play team sports like kickball, but be miserable from the pain for days afterwards.

An eventual trip to an ankle specialist revealed what Sarah already had a suspicion of: her injury was much more serious than a sprain. In fact, the peroneal tendon on the outside of her foot was torn, and worse, a large portion of the cartilage on her ankle joint had torn off. Although her tendon was repaired with a surgery, initial attempts to heal the joint were unsuccessful. Sarah had lost too much cartilage, a tissue the body is incapable of reproducing.

Sarah’s doctor suggested treatment with an autograft, whereby bone and cartilage from her own knee would be transplanted into the injured ankle. As luck would have it, by now Sarah was working for one of the nation’s premier tissue banks, AlloSource. Here she had become aware of the tissue transplantation process. Sarah knew that although frequently used to treat injuries, autografts could lead to other complications: in her case the potential for infection in her healthy knee, a slower recovery from two surgeries and more.

Sarah urged her doctor to consider an allograft transplant, a gift of life from a deceased donor. The decision was made to use one of the newer allografts available thanks to new science: juvenile cartilage.

These grafts, bravely donated by the families of donors just one month to 12 years old, had been found to stimulate new cartilage growth when implanted with stem cells.

Following her tissue transplant, Sarah’s results have been miraculous. After a final surgery in December 2010, her doctors found that cartilage is indeed regenerating in Sarah’s ankle.

“It’s fascinating to see this cartilage regrowing,” Sarah said. And she is able to feel the benefits already.

“I can ski again and it doesn’t hurt. I’ve started to wear high heels again; I haven’t worn high heels for years! It feels really good.”

Her work at a tissue bank has heightened Sarah’s respect for her second chance at a healthy life:

“I have had the opportunity to see it from the perspective that everyone should see it from; I have interacted with donor families and really comprehend that this is a gift of life that somebody else gave to me because they lost their own.”

Sarah also reports a stronger kinship with her colleagues at AlloSource, who work 24/7 to process donated human tissue into allografts used for a host of surgical applications around the country.

“Processing these allografts is tedious and includes a lot of hard work. I’ve been able to thank the techs I work with for what they do every day.”

Competitive Ice Hockey Player Kicks Foot Injury

From Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush University Medical Center

Last year, Holly Barocio, 34 of Chicago, skated with gusto onto the ice, ready to defendHolly2.jpg her co-ed hockey team’s championship title. She never thought that rather than skating away with a trophy in hand, she would be carried off the ice by an ambulance.

Holly remembers the moment she was injured vividly. “Every part of me went left except for my foot. My blade got caught in a groove in the ice and I immediately felt acute pain. After that, I think I was in a state of shock trying to understand what happened.”To make matters worse, her team lost by a two point margin. She says it didn’t help that her teammate and husband, Jason, also left the game when he accompanied her to the hospital. “My husband and I have this brain synergy. We always know where the other is on the ice without even looking.”

At the emergency room, Holly was told she had a clean break and likely wouldn’t need surgery. However, she was not confident in this assessment and sought a second opinion.

“Without a doubt Rush kept coming up, specifically Dr. Kamran Hamid’s name,” she explains. “I liked him right out of the gate; he had great bedside manner and a level of attention and care that I found unique.”


“I liked him right out of the gate; he had great bedside manner and a level of attention and care that I found unique.”


Dr. Hamid took thoughtful measures to consider how Holly’s treatment would affect her commitment to return to hockey. He performed a “Stability Test” to definitively determine whether she needed surgery or not. The results confirmed that her ankle was unstable and would benefit from a surgery.

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Dr. Hamid used a special low-profile metal plate that he felt would best accommodate Holly’s ability to skate. This plate lies closer to the bone to have less irritation with a skate while still providing excellent stability.

Holly’s recovery revolved around her passion for hockey. “I was direct with Dr. Hamid and told him, this is not a deterrent for me. I will return to hockey.” In fact, she was determined to help her team qualify for playoffs. “I am going to play hockey again no matter what. That is how much I enjoy the sport,” she remembers telling Dr. Hamid. “I have a hard time seeing myself as a non-hockey player.”

Now, equipped with her newly repaired ankle, Holly has officially returned to her second home on the ice and reports, “I have been smiling non-stop! No pain, no discomfort.”

Joffrey Ballet Partners with MOR, RUMC

the joffrey ballet

Sports medicine and foot and ankle specialists from Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush (MOR), who are also on staff at Rush University Medical Center (RUMC), have been selected to serve as preferred medical providers for The Joffrey Ballet, the world-class dance company located in Chicago.

The Joffrey Ballet is the newest professional athletic organization for which this practice provides medical care. MOR physicians are also medical providers for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, the Chicago White Sox, the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, and the Chicago Bulls.

Dr. Simon Lee, foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon and Dr. Leda Ghannad, sports medicine physician, will serve as head physicians for The Joffrey Ballet. Colleagues Drs. Johnny Lin and Kamran Hamid, also foot and ankle orthopedic specialists will round out the medical team for The Joffrey Ballet.

“We will work with the on-site ballet therapists to help the dancers perform in optimal condition, and if an injury does occur, we can immediately provide the required care to minimize time away from performing,” explains Dr. Lee.

An MOR physician will monitor the Joffrey’s on-site training room once a week and attend each of the Chicago performances in February, April and in the summer of 2018. If a higher level of medical care is needed, dancers will be treated at the MOR clinic or at RUMC. The Joffrey team physicians will also provide care for Joffrey staff members.

Approximately 40 percent of dancers’ injuries involve lower extremities, which are typically overuse injuries. “We understand ballet dancers who are a tough breed of elite athletes with rigorous and lengthy daily practice sessions,” says Dr. Ghannad. “While they may sustain acute injuries, dancers’ foot and ankle injuries are usually caused by repetitive movements.”

About The Joffrey Ballet

The Joffrey Ballet is a world-class, Chicago-based ballet company and dance education organization committed to artistic excellence and innovation, presenting a unique repertoire encompassing masterpieces of the past and cutting-edge works. The Joffrey is committed to providing arts education and accessible dance training through its Joffrey Academy of Dance and Community Engagement programs.

About Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush

Rush University Medical Center’s orthopedics program is ranked #1 in Illinois, according to U.S. News and World Report magazine’s 2017-2018 Best Hospitals issue. Rush also has one of the top sports medicine residency and fellowship training programs in the country.

COLLEGE STUDENT LEADS TEAM AFTER TISSUE TRANSPLANT

By AlloSource – “Doing More with Life”

CAMERON: RECIPIENT OF JUVENILE CARTILAGE

A large part of who Cameron had become was likely over. Competing as a student athlete on the lacrosse field was what he loved most. As team captain, he had every intention of leading his team throughout his senior year. Additionally, he was planning to continue playing the sport he loved in college.

“When I got word from my doctor that my senior year of lacrosse was over, I was devastated,” said Cameron.

During a game, Cameron injured his ankle. Thinking it was a minor injury, he continued playing. Despite initially thinking it was just a sprain, he woke up the next morning to an ankle swollen to the size of a basketball.

“We went to the emergency room wondering if my ankle was broken or shattered,” said Cameron. The news was grim. Cameron’s ankle was completely shattered. In his mind, his lacrosse playing days were over.

His doctor however, had a different idea. He knew about a procedure that had been successfully performed on over 40 adults.

“They said the procedure involved using cartilage from a child donor and injecting it into my ankle,” said Cameron. Though no one as young as Cameron had ever had the procedure, he and his doctors decided it was his best option. The procedure was a success.

“I was out of the hospital in about four hours and I only had to stay on pain medicine for about three or four days,” he said.

After just two weeks of recovery, Cameron was back working with his trainer on his upper body strength and flexibility while his ankle was recovering. By the second month, he was in a walking boot going to all of his classes.

“This procedure clearly allowed me the opportunity to continue playing the sport I love, lacrosse,” said Cameron. “My doctor said that without this new technology I was unlikely to ever have the mobility necessary to play lacrosse at the college level. If I had gotten pins and screws installed instead of this procedure I am sure I would not be on my school’s team today.”

When first told about the procedure, Cameron felt uneasy. He realized that while he was recovering, a family would be grieving.

“I understood that a family lost a very young child so I could get healthy again,” he said. “But at the same time, they were brave enough to honor their family member by donating their organs and tissue. The more I thought about the surgery and the gift I was getting, the more I realized the best way to honor my donor was to live my life to its fullest.”

Cameron not only tells his friends and family to become donors, he also thinks of his donor family while he plays the sport he so loves.

“There are many times when I am tired in practice or a game when I have a quick thought to dig a bit deeper as a small measure of thanks for all that I have been given,” Cameron said. “I feel that I am tremendously fortunate to have been given such a gift.”

A New Type of Balance Board Aimed at Peak Performance

By Brian Rog for ATI Physical Therapy

We mean it when we say “our team leads the way in pioneering the future of the industry”. Such is the case with Chad Franche PT, DPT, United States Air Force (USAF) veteran, and founder of the TherRex Balance Board. What initially started as an idea rooted from a practicum as a graduate student has now evolved into a game-changing product that is revolutionizing the health and fitness industry.

As someone who grew up wanting to make a difference in the lives of others, Chad felt the health and fitness industry needed a balance board that could truly facilitate all levels of motion without sacrifice. While in rotation at an outpatient clinic, Chad discovered that all the current balance boards took on a hemispherical shape on the bottom.

But while in a standing position, current boards give you more distance to shift your weight side to side (frontal plane) than front to back motion (sagittal plane). With this in mind Chad knew he could introduce a product with a base that would mimic this level of movement, but allow for full ankle range of motion without having to dismount from the board.

Fast forward a few years and this very idea was brought to life through the TherRex Board, which resembles a football shape to mimic the movement addressed above. The football shape also replicates the movement attained by a BAPS board (BioMechanical Ankle Platform System) in that it provides inward rotation of the ankle throughout flexion, but through a greater range of motion, which allows for the ankle to be exercised in the position sprains occur.

Chad originally intended for the board to be a pediatric balance board with an interactive gaming component, but after seeing the potential the football shape could provide, it was clear he needed to take this product to the next level.

“I knew with the football shaped base, if the board were to be used in the plank or seated positions there would be two different intensities at which exercises could be performed,” said Chad. “The board would just have to be turned 90 degrees to make it easier or harder (the shorter arc of the football shape is less stable and higher difficulty than the longer more stable arc).

I added a pair of handles at the ends of each arc and a flat edge lateral to the handles that projects underneath the board and stops it so a person’s fingers won’t get pinched against the ground. The flat edge also provides a stable surface for the board to be mounted and dismounted. Other balance boards with a round platform wobble against the ground and make it difficult to mount/dismount.”

With the product officially hitting the market a few months back, we met up with Chad to hear how things are going, see what’s next for him and the brand and get his perspective on this new adventure.

Who is the TherRex balance board intended for?

Our customers are primarily outpatient PT clinics, but we are also targeting gyms (Formula Fitness Club in Chicago as our most recent), schools, and direct to consumer. Ultimately, the TherRex board benefits anyone with a fitness goal or those rehabbing from an injury. Its greatest benefits are in joint stability, core strengthening, and of course balance. I actually use it each night as part of my daily workout routine.

For more information on TherRex Balance Board, please visit the official TherRex Balance Board website.