By Brookie Spa
In 2006, I had an injury causing damage to my spine. Since then, I have endured many years of pain, with more than one surgery to attempt to ease my discomfort.
On Dec. 28, 2012, Dr. Kern Singh and his staff operated on my spine. This was my fourth surgery. Not only did I appreciate his minimally invasive procedure, but his staff was awesome. They are very kind, caring and compassionate to their patients. I never felt as if I was a bother to them with my questions or concerns.
From the time I arrived at patient registration, visiting pre-op, participating in the surgery, visiting post-op and staying for two days thereafter, the medical team at Rush University Medical Center — Dr. Singh’s team, the pain management team, OT, PT, and of course the great nursing staff — were top notch. Facility services were awesome as well.
Working in the medical field myself, it was a pleasure to be treated with respect along with each member being very caring and compassionate. Each person went above and beyond to make sure I was well cared for.
Photo courtesy of Lizz Knowlton
By Christopher Knowlton
I am a PhD student in bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I work as a research assistant under Dr. Markus Wimmer in the Tribology Laboratory of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Rush University Medical Center, where I am doing my thesis research on the wear of total knee replacements. Like many graduate students, I have a second job, but I bet your list of best guesses didn’t include professional dancer.
On any given week, I spend around 10 to 20 hours per week in rehearsals and shows for various independent choreographers in Chicago. Until recently, my work as a graduate student and my career as a dancer were largely separate. But on Tuesday, I was named a finalist for the international Dance Your Ph.D. contest on Science magazine’s website.
A little over a year ago, Rachel Thorne Germond of RTG Dance, the first choreographer I worked with in Chicago, posted a link to the contest on Facebook. Not long after, there was an explosion of posts among my dancer friends sharing a TED talk given by John Bohannon & Black Label Movement called Dance vs. powerpoint, a modest proposal. John Bohannon is a correspondent for Science magazine who created the Dance Your Ph.D. contest to encourage scientists to better engage a broad audience with complex ideas. Since I was hearing about this contest from other dancers instead of PhD students, it became obvious that nonscientists really connected to this type of presentation. It was such a great fit for me that I knew I had to participate.
Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose chronicles his recovery from a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in this new video. It features scenes from Rush University Medical Center and an appearance by Brian Cole, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Rush and Chicago Bulls’ team physician.
By day, Bernard Bach, MD, serves as director of sports medicine at Rush University Medical Center and Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush.
In the evening and on weekends, he heads to his workshop in his Chicago-area home or to an Oak Park glassblowing studio to create handmade art, including jellyfish sculptures, Persian wall platters and vases.
“I believe people should do whatever makes them happy,” Bach says. “I love medicine because I interact with people and use my hands to treat them and make a difference in their lives. I love art because I use my hands to create something for my own satisfaction.”
Joshua Blomgren, DO, a sports medicine physician with Rush University Medical Center and Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, recently took part in an online chat about treatment and prevention of common running injuries. In case you missed it, here are some highlights from the discussion.
I started running for the Chicago Half Marathon and started to have anterior knee pain and instability. I also started to have lots of grinding in both knees. Will I need time to rest? Would a knee brace help?
Joshua Blomgren, DO: Anterior knee pain is a common complaint in runners. Very commonly the patellofemoral, or “knee cap” joint, is the culprit. The knee cap glides in a groove in the thigh bone with walking, running and activity. There is a complex interplay of leg alignment and muscular activity that contribute to the activity of the joint. If the joint is slightly out of alignment it can become painful. A lot of runners will experience it as they progress in their training. This is the likely cause, considering the pain and grinding sensation. There are some braces that can help improve the “knee cap” alignment, but most often a physical therapy program to strengthen the quadriceps and gluteus medius muscle can help alleviate your pain and help you to continue your training.
How important is post-run stretching in preventing injury? Any guidance on ideal length of time to spend stretching post-run?
Blomgren: Stretching has been shown in multiple studies to aid in injury prevention. There are two types of stretching — static and dynamic. Static is the more commonly known type as this is the commonly thought of “reach, stretch and hold.” Dynamic stretching is stretching the muscles as you are using them. Dynamic stretching has been shown to be most beneficial as part of the warm-up, and static stretching is done as part of a cool-down. Make sure to focus on the major muscle groups of the legs.