Dr. Benuck Talks About His Practice, His Patients and His Favorite Classical Composer
As told by Russell G. Benuck, M.D.
We sat down with Dr. Benuck, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with Swedish Covenant Medical Group, to learn about his patient philosophy and interests.
My medical practice
My main interest is hip and knee replacements
. I also do a significant amount of sports medicine
I’m fellowship trained in hip and knee replacement revisions
, which means correcting failed hip and knee replacements. Parts from twenty years ago can wear out. Replacements can also fail because of infection or improper placement.
When it comes to surgery, there are many options. Sometimes the same surgery can be approached through different techniques to suit factors like the patient’s unique anatomy.
My patient philosophy
I look at every patient as an individual. Patients with similar x-rays often need completely different treatments. We are able to offer a complete spectrum of services, including conservative methods such as injections and therapies and surgical procedures.
I work with each individual to decide whether surgery or a more conservative strategy is the right option. What route we take is ultimately a group decision between myself, the patient and their family.
There are three things that make a good surgical candidate for a hip or knee replacement:
1. They have the disease. The arthritis.
2. They experience dysfunction from the arthritis. Pain or an inability to do the things they want.
3. They are mentally ready. It requires a lifestyle change, at least in the short term, and patients can take a while to feel comfortable with that.
If someone is nervous about surgery, I provide literature and spend time counseling and educating them. Swedish Covenant Hospital also offers joint replacement classes
that highlight what occurs before, during and after surgery to help patients prepare.
Why I chose orthopedics
My father was a pediatrician so I was exposed to medicine from an early age. I completed an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and biomedical engineering and a master’s degree in biomedical engineering at Tufts University in Boston. I came back to Chicago for medical school at Northwestern University.
My engineering mindset is what drew me to orthopedics
. I look at everything as a formula to be solved. In orthopedics, there’s an identifiable problem. If we use “these methods” and follow “these rules,” we can likely get a good result. It’s not just managing problems; there are proven solutions.
I completed my residency at Detroit Medical Center. At Stanford University, I completed a fellowship in adult reconstruction—hip and knee replacements.
Why I chose Swedish Covenant Hospital
I chose Swedish Covenant Hospital because it’s been an independent hospital and significant community contributor for over 130 years. It’s making a difference in this community, and I wanted to be a part of that moving forward.
The patients and providers at Swedish Covenant Hospital have spent a lot of time together. When patients have a good experience, they share it with each other through word of mouth. You can lose that sense of trust in bigger academic centers.
My family and hobbies
I’ve skied my whole life and was an instructor in Wisconsin during high school. I have two sons, who are five and three, and I’ve started to teach them. We’ve gone west a few times and to Wisconsin on weekends when it’s not too busy.
I’m also a classically trained pianist and still play almost every day. I’m trying to decide when to start my boys. I want them to enjoy the experience. I started when I was six, and my parents never had to convince me to practice.
My sons are already music fans. At home, my older boy picks what we listen to. It’s either The Beatles or Chopin, my favorite composer. I taught him well.
Russell Geoffrey Benuck, M.D.
, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with Swedish Covenant Medical Group. His clinical interests include hip and knee arthroplasty and revision. He has over 10 years of experience.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Benuck, call 773-907-7750
By David Modica | Published February 23, 2017