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‘I’m glad I did it now instead of winding up with a total knee replacement’

When Adventist Hinsdale Hospital orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michael Durkin presented a lecture at the Community House in Hinsdale about the benefits of minimally invasive robotic partial knee resurfacing, one of his patients was present to showcase the benefits. Just five days earlier, Durkin had performed the procedure on Susan Gross, 58, of Elmhurst. Gross felt so well she walked across the stage without a walker or cane.


For years, Gross endured periodic cortisone injections for knee pain, until she had no bone left and no place for another injection. That was bad new for Gross, who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and stabbing knee pains when she moved.


“I could no longer keep up with my little granddaughter, Brooke,” Gross said. “She would always say, ‘Come on, Me-ma, you’re going too slow.’”


Her rheumatologist recommended knee replacement surgery and suggested Gross see an orthopedic surgeon. However, after taking X-rays, Durkin thought Gross could be a candidate for a partial knee replacement using minimally invasive robotic technology because the damage was confined only to the inner part of the right knee.


This procedure is a much different than traditional knee replacement surgery. First the diseased portion of the knee is resurfaced to spare healthy tissue and bone. Then an implant is inserted to restore normal movement. For patients, this means less pain, shorter recovery time and a brisk return to work. Many people who undergo full knee replacement surgeries require 12 weeks of recovery time. Adventist Hinsdale Hospital is the only hospital in Chicago’s western suburbs to offer this technology.


Gross had home health physical therapy at home for two weeks and then she returned to her part time job as an office manager for Leonard’s Fine Men’s Clothing in downtown Elmhurst. She is amazed at her lack of post-surgery infection, small incision, short rehabilitation period, ability to drive and resumption of daily activities.


She recommends minimally invasive robotic partial knee resurfacing to anyone who is a candidate for one. “I’m glad I did it now instead of winding up with a total knee replacement,” Gross said. “I’m relieved that I don’t need steroid injections anymore. I’m glad that Dr. Durkin felt this was the procedure for me. It was the perfect way to go and I’m happy to no longer be in pain.”