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.

After 8 Failed Surgeries, Athlete’s Foot Gets Proper Care by Dr. Lin

Sept. POM Kelsie photo 1.jpg

Kelsie Hannigan, 17, was a typical high school student at Lincoln Way Central. She loved going shopping, hanging out with friends, and has been devoted to tumbling, gymnastics, and cheerleading since she was three years old.

While tumbling in cheer one day, Kelsie was practicing a full – a very impressive backflip with a twist – and abruptly landed on her left foot. She knew this was different from other times.

She sought advice from two or three doctors, all of whom told her to wait and see if it would heal on its own. Unfortunately, it didn’t.

One doctor diagnosed the damage as a Linsfrac fracture and agreed to perform surgery. About two weeks post-operation, however, she was still feeling severe pain in her foot and new pain in her ankle. Kelsie ended up being on and off crutches and in and out of the hospital for a year, unable to return to cheerleading, tumbling, or any physical activity. She underwent more surgeries to insert anchors, remove anchors, and repair bones.

One year and eight surgeries later, Kelsie had seen no improvement in her pain and didn’t know what to do. At this point, she had more injuries than she had started with, including recurrent popping in the lateral aspect of her ankle and chronic dislocation of her peroneal tendon.

Finally, six months after her last surgery, she discovered Dr. Johnny Lin at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. She was initially cautious about surgery, but refreshingly hopeful about this new surgeon.

“Dr. Lin told me everything he was going to do,” she explains. “I wasn’t scared about what was going to happen. He told me all the risks and reassured me that it would be okay.”

Earlier this year, Dr. Lin performed a left ankle fibular exostectomy, hardware removal, calcaneal hardware removal, peroneal tenolysis and debridement, peroneal groove deepening, and superior peroneal retinacularplication to repair Kelsie’s foot and ankle.

Kelsie was impressed at how capable Dr. Lin was and how quickly her recovery progressed – this experience was much different than her past surgeries. She spent six weeks on crutches and two more in a boot.

“It was amazing having just one surgery,” she says. “Before, we never knew if it would be the last one. This time, even right afterward, we knew.”

Kelsie continued with six weeks of physical therapy to get stronger and to rebuild the physical stability in her foot and ankle. She has gone running a couple times but is still cautious when it comes to cheer and tumbling.

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Instead, she spends more time coaching gymnastics and tumbling for kids up to 11 years old. She has a blast teaching and is happy that she can be more involved in the physical requirements of her job.

Kelsie is relieved to be in less pain and looking forward to returning to her very active life. She is finally able to enjoy doing everyday things, such as going shopping or going out to eat with friends, that she missed out on because of severe foot and ankle pain. Less than two months post-operation, she even made it out of the boot for her mother’s wedding.

She is grateful to be progressing in recovery and returning to her life.

“Dr. Lin knew what he was talking about and knew he could make it better. He went in and fixed everything.”

The 6 Main Causes of Dance Injuries

Dance Injuries

Dance injury rates are significantly statistically higher than that of other sports. A study by Wolverhampton University found that professional dancers are more likely to suffer injuries than rugby players.

Statistics show that 80 per cent of dancers incur at least one injury a year that affects their ability to perform – compared to a 20 per cent injury rate for rugby or football players. Whilst not a contact sport or explicitly high-impact, dance training is intensively challenging and highly demanding for even the most conditioned and able athlete. Here we look at the six main causative factors that result in dance injury.

1. Anatomical Causes

Natural physical limitations and constraints may limit the development of a perfectly correct technique. Correct technique – beyond being prerequisite for professional success – is a fundamental element of avoiding dance injury. This is evident in the fact that the communist anatomical cause of potential problems and injuries is limitation of turn-outs (external rotation) of the hips. As such it is vital that the dance student and teacher recognise any potential physical limitations early on, so that the dancer may learn to work within their true physical range.

2. Incorrect Technique

When dancers allow their technique to slip – usually due to fatigue – they put themselves at a much higher risk of injury. Commonly this becomes an issue towards the end of a long tour or performance run. Slipping technique is why, typically, injury rates among cast dancers increase throughout the duration of a tour. Quickly learning and performing new, unknown choreography can also create injury issues, as regardless of the ability of the dancer, they have had insufficient time to become accustomed to the movements and fine-tune their technique accordingly.

3. Poor Coaching

As with all sports and athletic disciplines, expert teaching and coaching for the development of technical knowledge is vital. It is the responsibility of an excellent and highly knowledgeable dance teacher to be able to recognise, and react accordingly to, any anatomical weaknesses, physical limitations or onset of injury evident in the dance pupil. Furthermore it is imperative that they correctly relay and instill the fundamentals of correct technique and advise upon supporting lifestyle and cross-training that ensure optimum health, well-being and physical performance of the dancer.

4. The Floor

The floor is an extremely important environmental factor to the health and performance of a dancer. Purpose-built dance floors are vital in rehearsal and performance spaces. Floors that are not built for purpose do not provide sufficient supportive impact. Sprung wood floors support dynamic movement; reinforced, concrete or non-sprung wood floors create unsupportive and unsustainable support for the joints, which is highly detrimental to the physical health of the dancer in the long term. Lack of spring in the floor can produce many injuries, notably foot problems, injuries in the lumbar region of the spine, and in the muscles which are associated with take off and landing – mainly the tibia and metatarsals, which may result in stress fractures.

5. Temperature

Ambient temperature of rehearsal studio and performance space is of utmost performance in avoiding dance injury. Dancers have to take extra care to not get too cold before or after practice in order to avoid muscular injury. A standard advised temperature for a training and performance space is 68-70 degrees Fahrenheit, and should not be allowed to drop below this range.

6. Excessive Practice

Unavoidably, dancers often adhere to grueling training schedules – a necessary requisite to master the art, and a mainstay of rehearsals for dance productions and tours. Obviously this presents a high risk factor for creating overuse injuries, particularly when a dancer must continue to train at high intensity with an existing injury. Clearly the combination aforementioned factors – excellent physical cardiovascular fitness, diet, training, technique, ability and training environment – greatly reduces the risk of injury under the demanding training schedules of a professional dancer, however dancers at the top of their game still frequently incur significant injury.

By SportsInjuryClinic