Northwestern Medicine

Tissue Engineering Procedure Puts Injured Hockey Goalie Back in the Net

Lake Forest Hospital November 28, 2011

Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital’s Roger Chams, MD, second in Chicago area to perform revolutionary surgery

LAKE FOREST, IL –  A Lake Forest College ice hockey goalie returned to the game he loves, thanks to an innovative surgery performed by Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital arthroscopic surgeon Roger Chams, MD. Because of the cutting-edge shoulder reconstruction he received, Mike McDonald was able to go from the operating room back onto the ice within six months.

Last season, McDonald dislocated his shoulder during a game, allowing the other team to score on the play. Dr. Chams, the team’s physician, evaluated McDonald and determined he had major bone loss in his shoulder and that all of his ligaments were torn.

“In the past, we would reconstruct the shoulder or use standard arthroscopic techniques for patients with frequently dislocating shoulders with bone loss. About 70 percent of them were successful,” said Dr. Chams.

That risk was too great for McDonald. Instead, he underwent osteochondral allograft of the glenoid. In this procedure, fresh bone and cartilage from a donor’s ankle is directly transplanted into the patient’s shoulder socket. The surgery reduced McDonald’s risk of recurrent instability and may also prevent him from developing arthritis in the future.

McDonald said, “At the time, only a handful of these procedures had been performed in the country; but because of Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital’s reputation and Dr. Chams’ experience, I felt confident.” McDonald has since transferred to a different hockey school on the east coast where he continues to play.

"It’s incredible. I literally went down the street to Northwestern Medicine  Lake Forest Hospital to get this amazing, cutting-edge procedure that very few surgeons are performing. I can honestly say that, without it, I might not be finishing my degree, and I definitely wouldn’t be playing hockey,” said McDonald.

Dr. Roger Chams was only the second orthopedic surgeon in the Chicago area to perform a cadaver tissue shoulder reconstruction when he operated on McDonald. He is among the 28 board-certified orthopedic surgeons on staff at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital who provide exemplary care and perform more orthopedic surgeries than any hospital in Lake County. 

Learn more about Orthopedic Surgery at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital.

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