Dr. William Pennington, orthopedic surgeon, Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital, Orthopedic Institute of Wisconsin

Dr. William Pennington, an orthopedic surgeon at the Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital, located on the second floor of, and in partnership with, the Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare Franklin hospital, is a national leader in shoulder reconstruction surgery.

He has performed a revolutionary new joint replacement surgery, known as arthroscopic biological resurfacing of the humeral head. The procedure uses cartilage and bone from a donor, instead of the traditional approach of using metal parts, to replace a shoulder’s ball and socket. The cartilage and bone from the donor serve as a patient’s new cartilage.

The traditional metal parts lasted 10 to 20 years, and the procedure often had to be repeated multiple times. With the use of cartilage and bone from a donor the surgery generally does not have to be redone and it requires smaller incisions, and results in shorter recovery times.

Debbie Berland was the first patient in Wisconsin and only the fifth in the world to receive treatment with the new surgical procedure. Prior to the surgery normal household chores had become almost impossible to do due to excruciating pain.

“Dr. Pennington took the time to guide me through it,” she said. “He completely changed my life. I’m completely pain free.”

“Not only is Dr. Pennington highly trained with a high level of skill, he is committed to a model of care completely based on his patients’ needs,” said Dan Mattes, president of Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – St. Francis and Franklin and the Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital, who nominated Pennington for a Health Care Hero Award.

Pennington performed surgery on Chelsea Memmel, a former world champion gymnast and Olympic medalist, in 2006 to repair her rotator cuff and labrum, and earlier this year he repaired her biceps tendon.

“When my shoulder started giving me problems this year, there was no doubt who we were going to go to for help,” Memmel said. “Dr. Pennington is very professional and always takes time to explain everything and what he is going to do during surgery.”

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