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‘I feel like a new man’

Allen Karasiewicz, a former marathon runner, likes to hike in the Black Hills and Death Valley areas.

So when the 63-year-old Indian Head Park resident developed severe knee pain that allowed him to limp only half a block at a time, Karasiewicz knew he needed help. He asked his trainer for a referral and soon afterward scheduled an appointment with Dr. Paul M. Trksak, an orthopedic surgeon who treats patients at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital.

“I couldn’t make it through the grocery store without having to stop and loosen up the knee,” Karasiewicz said. “And I could hardly do stairs. It was very disheartening.”

X-rays showed Karasiewicz had arthritis. But Trksak followed that bad news with good news. Because Karasiewicz’s trouble was confined to one knee, Karasiewicz was an excellent candidate for MAKOplasty. This minimally invasive robotic procedure is a much different from traditional knee or even partial 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.

Although Trksak assured Karasiewicz of a quick recovery, Karasiewicz was unprepared for how quick it really was. After the April 27 procedure, Karasiewicz spent just two nights at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. At home, Karasiewicz needed a walker for only two days before discontinuing that aid for a cane.

“My leg was surprisingly quite strong,” Karasiewicz said.

After two weeks of home therapy and six weeks of outpatient therapy, Karasiewicz had returned to his old life.

“I feel like a new man,” Karasiewicz said. “I can do everything I did before the knee gave me trouble.”

He recently spent some time in Las Vegas and hiked around Lake Mead. His knee procedure, Karasiewicz said, came at just the right time.

“I’m very happy with the results,” Karasiewicz said. “The turnaround is unbelievable.”