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Orthopaedic Surgery Patient Stories

Bone Cancer
Elbow & Shoulder

Bone Cancer Surgery

Matthew Sanders

Better Days After Bone Cancer
High school senior Matthew Sanders came to the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital after experiencing ongoing leg pain. Tests revealed a tumor, called osteosarcoma, in the bone just below his left knee. A multidisciplinary team designed a treatment plan to shrink the tumor and surgically remove it while saving Sanders' leg. Because Sanders is a Jehovah’s Witness, his physicians took extra care to avoid the need for a blood transfusion. After successful treatment, Sanders is back at Comer Children’s Hospital, this time as a playroom volunteer.

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Kobek family

Orthopaedic Care a Family Affair
Three generations of the Kobek family travel from South Bend, Indiana to the University of Chicago Medicine for reconstructive surgery to treat complex fractures. While their medical journey has been challenging, the Kobeks praise their doctor and the hospital staff for providing excellent and compassionate care. "We have always sought out the best medical facilities," Alex Kobek said. "And the staff at the University of Chicago Medicine is so caring, professional and uplifting.

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Hip Preservation

Sara Llibre

Triathlete Regains Her Stride with Minimally Invasive Hip Procedure
Sara Llibre is back to running and competing in Ironman competitions after having hip preservation surgery at the University of Chicago Medicine. Before the surgery, Llibre's right hip hurt so much she could barely run. "Our job as hip preservation specialists is to maintain our patient’s natural hip and avoid the need for hip replacement later in life," said Sherwin S. W. Ho, MD, Llibre's orthopaedic surgeon.

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Knee Replacement Surgery

Michael and Karen Gamperl

Total Knee Replacement: A Robotic Fix
Michael and Karen Gamperl both needed knee replacements. When common treatments were no longer relieving the pain, they were referred to Hue Luu, MD for knee replacement surgery. Luu was able to perform a total knee replacement using robotic-arm assisted technology, enabling the Gamperls' to be back to normal activities within weeks.

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Elbow & Shoulder Care

Brandon Kelly, sports medicine patient

Game On
When Brandon Kelly, pitcher for his high school’s baseball team, dislocated his elbow during the second game of the season, his primary care physician suggested he consult with a sports medicine doctor. Brandon’s mother, Katie Kelly, decided to bring him to UChicago Medicine to see Dr. Conti Mica, an orthopaedic surgeon with expertise in hand, elbow and shoulder care.

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Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Frank Kryzak

Relieving a Shoulder Burden
Frank Kryzak, a retired sales manager, experienced pain and soreness in his left shoulder for several years. "My life was miserable," Kryzak recalled. Physical therapy and other medications did not bring relief. Kryzak sought help from UChicago Medicine orthopaedic surgeon Lewis L. Shi, MD, who recommended shoulder replacement surgery, a common, safe and reliable procedure. Shi replaced Kryzak's damaged shoulder with custom-fitted implants. An added bonus: Kryzak received a nerve block that allowed him to go home within 24 hours of surgery. "Everything went really well and the pain was minimal," said Kryzak. "When I saw Dr. Shi again, I laughed and told him ‘I had painless surgery.’"

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Spine Surgery

Angela Crenshaw

Regaining Mobility After Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Angelia Crenshaw experienced crippling leg pain caused by two lumbar spine disorders: spondylolisthesis and spinal stenosis. She tried prescription medication, pain injections and physical therapy, but her condition continued to worsen. Eventually, Crenshaw could no longer walk or partake in her favorite social activities. Yet, after undergoing minimally invasive laminectomy and spinal fusion surgery, she's grateful to be enjoying her mobility once again.

Keith Affeld

Retiree Lives Pain-Free After Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
After pulling a weed from his wife's garden, Keith Affeld experienced a sudden onset of crippling back pain, which quickly progressed to what he described as "shooting pain down my right leg." Affeld and his wife, Colleen, traveled from their home in Valparaiso, Ind., to the University of Chicago Medicine, for the first available appointment with Michael Lee, MD. Lee performed a minimally invasive surgical technique to relieve Affeld's pain with minimized risk. Affeld was on his feet again the day after surgery and can now comfortably enjoy his retirement.

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