My knee injury might more accurately be described as a saga. Catching an edge while skiing, I took a hard tumble down the mountain, resulting in a torn ACL, torn meniscus, fractured tibia and completely ruptured MCL. I was living in Europe and after deciding against surgery in the remote Italian village where it happened, I flew back to Berlin where I was fortunately referred to one of the top orthopedic clinics in Germany. I had surgery to repair/reconstruct all of the injuries but suffered several complications resulting in a second surgery, hundreds of hours of physical therapy and ultimately, a three-week, all-day “PT camp”. I returned to Chicago 10 months after my injury and despite all of the work done in Germany, my knee was still unstable and limiting my day-to-day life. I chose knee surgeon Dr. Jorge Chahla based on his credentials but walking into his office for the first time, I had no idea what a truly incredible doctor I had selected.
When I told Dr. Chahla that my goal wasn’t to just walk downstairs again, but return to skiing at the same level as before my injury, he didn’t flinch; since day one, he has been as committed to my goal as I am. I appreciate that Dr. Chahla didn’t immediately jump into another surgery, instead recommending an additional month of intensive PT as a last-ditch conservative effort. When that resulted in no improvement, we decided together that reconstructing my MCL was our best option. Surgery was scheduled along with another grueling rehab process. It’s been 20 months since my injury and nine months since the last surgery. While I still have more work ahead of me before I can ski, I’ve started running again and just did a 50-mile bike ride with no knee pain!
I’m indebted to Dr. Chahla for his world-renowned expertise and cutting-edge surgical methods. But more than that, I’m continually astonished and appreciative of his (and his entire team’s) care and compassion for their patients. I come to every appointment equipped with a long list of questions that Dr. Chahla always takes the time to thoroughly answer. He walks me through every MRI and x-ray, ensuring I completely understand what’s going on with my knee and how his reconstruction has made it even stronger. Dr. Chahla is always upfront in conversations, laying out the reality of the situation but also outlining the steps to get me back onto the mountain. In short, Dr. Chahla is the quintessential doctor: top-notch surgeon, at the forefront of research, kind and empathetic, and my biggest advocate in returning to the sports I love.