In the summer of 2017, while on vacation with her family in Michigan, Kathy Kolar, 68 of Chicago, was enjoying an afternoon on a pontoon boat.
The relaxation was interrupted when she accidentally fell off the boat and struck her knee in the process. After a rushed trip to the local emergency room, she was diagnosed with multiple fractures in her tibial plateau, which is the cartilage surface of the knee joint just at the top of the shinbone. The attending physician recommended surgery right away, which she did the following day at the same Michigan hospital. During surgery, a metal plate and pins were used to reposition and secure the bone fragments in her knee.
Once back home in Chicago, Kolar suffered with pain and immobility for months and the incision remained a source of discomfort which required constant attention. In addition, she developed post-traumatic arthritis in the same knee. She was increasingly concerned that she might need a knee replacement, which would mean another surgery in a short period.
Dr. Craig Della Valle, Joint Replacement Expert
She reached out to friends and family for advice and recommendations for knee experts, just in case. Her nephew and his wife spoke very highly of their experience with Dr. Craig Della Valle at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush (MOR) in Chicago. Convinced, she bit the bullet and made an appointment.
“I saw Dr. Della Valle six months after my first surgery and he immediately put me at ease.”
“I was especially glad when he told me he’d use dissolvable stitches, because my skin was still sensitive from the staples used in the previous surgery,” Kolar explains.
Dr. Della Valle talked with her about her options and she agreed that a knee replacement was the best solution to eliminate her pain. She attended pre-op classes which helped her understand exactly what would happen during the procedure, which involved the removal of damaged cartilage and bone from her knee joint and replacing them with artificial parts made of metal and plastic.
A Successful Surgery
After the successful surgery, Dr. Della Valle met her in recovery and showed her an x-ray of her ‘new’ knee.
“Dr. Della Valle and his staff reassured me every step of the way,” she says. Kolar started physical therapy right away. Video tutorials she viewed at home also helped her expedite the recovery process.
Today, she is walking as if the accident never happened. By the time spring arrives in Chicago, she expects to be back taking very long walks around the city. “My nephew and his wife said he was the best of the best, and they were right!”