• When Is a Laminectomy Called For?

    A laminectomy is a type of orthopaedic surgery that involves removing the lamina, which is the back of a vertebra. This surgery is also known as a decompression surgery because it creates more space in the spinal canal, which relieves pressure on the spinal nerves. Not every patient with back pain is a good candidate for a laminectomy or other spinal surgery. An orthopaedic surgeon will consider a number of factors before deciding whether to recommend that a particular patient have this type of surgery.

    When the Symptoms Are Severe

    Patients might consider having a laminectomy when they experience severe symptoms of spinal conditions such as spinal stenosis, bone spur formation, or disc herniation. These patients may suffer from severe, persistent back pain, reduced mobility, and perhaps numbness and pain along a leg or an arm. Other severe symptoms can include the loss of bowel or bladder control. When the symptoms are severe enough to reduce quality of life or interfere with daily activities, it might be time to consult an orthopaedic surgeon about having a laminectomy.

    When Conservative Treatments Fail

    Unless patients experience very severe symptoms such as incontinence, they may be advised to try nonsurgical treatments first. An orthopaedic doctor may prescribe medications, perform spinal injections, recommend activity modification, and refer patients to a physical therapist. If these medical treatments do not provide sufficient relief of pain, then patients might consider having a laminectomy.

    When the Patient Fully Understands the Risks

    Before having any orthopaedic surgery, it’s important that the patient is fully aware of the potential risks involved. Every surgery carries some risk of complications, such as bleeding, infection, blood clots, and adverse reactions to anesthesia. For many patients, the low risk of surgical complications is outweighed by the benefit of treating the underlying problem to resolve existing symptoms.

    MK Orthopaedics provides comprehensive orthopaedic care in Joliet, including orthopaedic surgeries such as laminectomies. If you’ve been experiencing back pain, one of our orthopaedic surgeons can help you decide if a laminectomy is right for you. Call us at (815) 741-6900 with any questions you may have.

  • The Consequences of Knee Cartilage Injuries

    Knee cartilage injuries refer to damage inflicted upon the articular cartilage of the knee joint. The articular cartilage protects the ends of the bones where they meet at the joints. It allows for the smooth motion of the joint. Since cartilage tissue does not have nerves, minor injuries might not be noticeable at first. However, if the patient fails to seek care from an orthopaedic doctor, knee cartilage injuries can result in debilitating symptoms and additional complications.


    Articular cartilage is vulnerable to degenerative changes in part because this material is made by chondrocytes. Chondrocytes are cells that multiply at a very slow rate. When the cartilage undergoes degenerative changes, the patient may develop osteoarthritis. This condition is characterized by the gradual wearing away of the cartilage , which reduces the protective effect of the cartilage on the joint. Osteoarthritis of the knee can develop when patients fail to seek appropriate treatment for knee injuries, including acute injuries and overuse problems.

    Knee Instability

    Knee instability is the sensation of the knee suddenly “giving way” or buckling, especially when twisting the knee, exercising, or walking on uneven ground. Knee instability is another possible complication of untreated knee cartilage injuries. Specifically, it may arise from a torn meniscus. A meniscus is a C-shaped piece of cartilage in the knee. Every person’s knee has two menisci. When a meniscus tear occurs, the patient can develop pain, swelling, stiffness, and problems extending the leg fully. If patients fail to seek appropriate treatment from an orthopaedic doctor, they may be more likely to develop chronic knee instability.


    Chondromalacia refers to the degeneration and softening of the cartilage located under the patella, which is the kneecap. Chondromalacia can cause localized pain and grinding noises when moving the knee joint. In some cases, chondromalacia may be a complication of a traumatic injury to the knee, especially if the injury is not treated properly.

    If you’re in need of specialized orthopaedic care for knee problems, you can turn to MK Orthopaedics. Our orthopaedic surgeons in Joliet routinely perform complex surgeries such as knee cartilage reconstruction and knee replacement surgery. New and current patients can reach us at (815) 741-6900.

  • What Is Lateral Interbody Fusion?

    Lateral interbody fusion is a form of orthopaedic surgery that is typically recommended for patients who are experiencing back pain or leg pain associated with degenerative disc disease. If your orthopaedic surgeon recommends lateral interbody fusion, here is a look at what you need to know.

    Lateral interbody fusion is a minimally invasive procedure during which an artificial disc implant is used to replace a diseased disc, which in turn causes the vertebrae above and below the implant to fuse together. The implant contains a bone graft to facilitate the fusion process. Your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend this type of minimally invasive surgery because it causes less blood and tissue disruption than traditional surgery, so the recovery time is likely to be faster.

    Lateral interbody fusion is just one procedure that your orthopaedic surgeon in Joliet at MK Orthopaedic can recommend to help you get out of pain and back to enjoying your life. Find out more about all of our services and make an appointment by calling (815) 741-6900.

  • Positive Experiences at MK Orthopaedics

    Are you suffering from neck, back, hip, ankle, or shoulder pain? You don’t have to let pain prevent you from living the life you want. An orthopaedic doctor can help you get the relief you need to get back to your usual activities.

    Watch this video to learn about one patient’s experience with orthopaedic surgery at MK Orthopaedics. After years of persistent hip pain, this patient was out enjoying a soccer game two days after her procedure.

    When you need an orthopaedic doctor in Joliet, choose MK Orthopaedics for compassionate, cutting-edge care for a range of painful conditions. We offer both surgical and non-invasive treatments, including physical therapy. You can schedule an appointment for a consultation by calling (815) 741-6900.

  • Common Causes of Heel Bone Fractures

    Even minor heel bone fractures—also called calcaneus fractures—can have serious consequences. They can be extremely painful and cause significant mobility issues. It is important to consult with an orthopaedic doctor right away if you think you have a heel bone fracture. Orthopaedic surgery is typically necessary, and the longer that treatment is delayed, the more likely it is that you will have long-term complications. Here is a look at some of the common causes of heel bone fractures.

    Falling from a Height

    If you fall from a height and land feet first, a heel bone fracture is very likely. As your body weight lands squarely on your feet, the small talus bone that brings the tibia and fibula together may be driven downward, directly into the heel bone. The greater the distance of the fall, the more severe your heel injury is likely to be.

    Car Accident

    Car accidents are among the most common causes of heel bone fractures. The impact of an accident typically causes the opposite injury as a falling injury. Generally, the feet hit the floorboard and the impact sends the force upward. Instead of the talus coming down into the heel bone, the heel bone may be driven up into the talus. With this kind of injury, the speed and force of the collision will determine how severe the fracture is. Frequently, car accidents lead to shattered heel bones or multiple fractures in the bone.

    Ankle Twist

    In some cases, a minor ankle twist is all that is required to cause a heel bone fracture. In most cases, heel fractures caused by ankle twists are the least severe. Typically, ankle twists lead to single fractures or a small crack in the bone. Nevertheless, these types of heel bone fractures are still painful and can still interfere with your mobility.

    If you have a heel fracture, make an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor in Joliet by calling MK Orthopaedic. Our orthopaedic surgeons treat a variety of conditions, from shoulder pain to hip pain and ACL tears. To schedule your appointment, dial (815) 741-6900.