Surgeon at Silver Cross Transplants Cartilage Cells to Help
New Lenox, IL (August 21, 2012)— Lincoln-Way Central High School track and field athlete Joseph Strain continued to suffer during pole vault maneuvers due to a prior football injury. “As a result of my football injury, my knee cap would continuously pop,” said the former Class President.
After meeting with Jason Hurbanek, M.D., orthopaedic sports medicine physician with Hinsdale Orthopaedic Associates at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, Strain learned that the cartilage surrounding his knee cap was wearing away. The injury was exasperated due to a prior incident that apparently never fully healed when Joseph injured his knee cap at football practice in August 2011. At that time, he had an MRI that showed that he tore off chunks of cartilage. Dr. Hurbanek performed a knee arthroscopy where these chunks were removed and sent to a Genzyme lab so that they could grow Strain’s cartilage cells for possible future transplant if needed. At the same time, Strain had a microfracture of his knee cap performed in an attempt to fill the void on his knee cap with scar cartilage. Unfortunately, he missed his entire senior year of football, but rehabilitated successfully.
Then after successfully mending his knee from the August surgery, Strain was able to play his other favorite sport - pole-vaulting - in the spring of 2012. This is when Strain injured his knee cap for the second time. The area where he knocked off the cartilage with the initial injury became symptomatic (as frequently occurs). Since the care team thought ahead and successfully grew and stored his cartilage cells in the lab, Dr. Hurbanek then transplanted the new cells during Strain’s second surgery in June.
Dr. Hurbanek quickly scheduled surgery in the new Silver Cross Hospital to repair Strain’s damaged knee. “It was important to immediately perform the surgery, so the healing process could begin,” said Dr. Hurbanek who is a member of the Silver Cross Hospital Medical Staff.
During this second surgery, Strain underwent an autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) where cartilage cells from a previous surgical harvest were re-implanted in the cartilage damaged area where he was injured. He also underwent a tibial tubercle osteotomy (TTO) where the kneecap bone insertion is cut and shifted to protect and stabilize the ACI procedure. This type of procedure requires significant rehabilitation.
Prior to surgery and after, Strain found relief through Dr. Hurbanek’s bedside manner. “Dr. Hurbanek always kept me informed and updated at every step of my surgeries and continues to do so during my therapy process,” said Strain. “And because he is so friendly, I always felt comfortable asking him questions.”
Strain’s father was also very pleased with the care his son Joseph received. “Dr. Hurbanek was a wonderful resource throughout the entire continuum of care that my son experienced – from his initial examination, to the surgeries through physical therapy appointments,” said Brian Strain. “We were impressed with how cohesive the teams of caregivers were with each other.”
Moving forward, Joseph’s leg will be in a brace and he will be receiving physical therapy for 6 to 8 months. “I am so grateful to have received such awesome care from both Dr. Hurbanek and the caring team of nurses at Silver Cross Hospital,” said Joseph Strain, who will be pursuing a secondary education degree from Augustana College in Rock Island this fall.
Currently, 30 million U.S. children participate in organized sports. Unfortunately, high school student athletes account for 2 million injuries, 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
All sports have a risk of injury; some more than others. In general, the more contact in a sport, the greater the risk of injury.
“Most people who experience sports injuries have either a history of injury or over do it while playing sports,” said Dr. Hurbanek. “Previous injuries often develop into chronic problems if they’re not properly and thoroughly rehabilitated. That is why it was important to repair Joseph’s knee quickly, in order for him to possibly avoid any chronic pain in the future.”
How to reduce risks
• Wear the right gear. Appropriate protective equipment can include helmets, eyewear, mouthpieces, face guards, pads, and protective cups.
• Increase flexibility and strengthen muscles. Stretching and conditioning exercises before and after games can help increase flexibility of muscles and tendons used in play.
• Take breaks. Rest periods are important during practice and games to reduce the risk of overuse injuries. During the year, a 2-month break from a specific sport is recommended to prevent overuse injuries.
• Play safe. There should be strict rules against headfirst sliding (in baseball and softball) and body checking (in ice hockey) to prevent serious head and spine injuries.
Jason Hurbanek, M.D., orthopedic surgeon, is a member of the Silver Cross Hospital Medical Staff. Dr. Hurbanek graduated medical school from Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health. He completed an Orthopaedic residency at Henry Ford Hospital and an Orthopaedic Sports Medicine fellowship at Ohio State University Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. His office is located with Hinsdale Orthopaedic Associates, 1870 Silver Cross Blvd., Suite 200, New Lenox. To schedule an appointment, call (815) 462-3474.
About Silver Cross Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895. Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for seven consecutive years; one of America’s Most Customer Friendly Hospitals by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers and was honored with an “A” Hospital Safety ScoreSM by The Leapfrog Group. With over 2,900 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 289-bed acute care hospital and 10 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices and recently opened a state-of-the-art replacement hospital on February 26, 2012 at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).