Silver Cross Hospital

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For years 68-year-old Gayle Kampe suffered from osteoarthritis in her right knee. The condition made walking down stairs and even a curb agonizing. Attempting to twist her knee or getting up from a sitting position became unbearable. The pain intensified so much that she couldn’t even find a position while sleeping that wasn’t painful. At the suggestion of a friend, Gayle met with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tom Antkowiak. Initially, a non-operative treatment was used to relieve her pain, but unfortunately was not successful. So together, they decided that the best course of treatment was for her to have surgery. So on Oct. 10, 2016, Gayle had partial knee replacement robotic surgery using the new Mako™ System at The Midwest Institute for Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital.

Gayle’s particular case not only allowed her to have robotic surgery, but she was able to go home the same day. “Since my robotic surgery was less invasive, I avoided having to stay overnight in the hospital,” said the Plainfield resident. “Plus the strongest pain medicine I took was Tylenol 3, and I didn’t have to use the CPM (continuous passive motion) machine, to do my exercises at home like I had to use years ago when I had my surgery on my left knee.”

As a result of the robotic surgery, her body mobility and quality of life has greatly improved. “Thanks to Dr. Antkowiak’s expertise on how to use the MAKO robot, my excruciating knee pain no longer exists,” she said. “In a few weeks, I was able to walk down stairs with no pain, get up from a chair with no difficulty and get a restful night’s sleep.”

Advice for Others
“I encourage others who may need this surgery not to waste any more time living in pain and make an appointment with Dr. Antkowiak. He patiently answered all my questions and was so thoughtful throughout the entire process,” said Gayle. “And the nurses at Silver Cross Hospital were so compassionate during my surgery. I felt that I was in such good hands with them taking care of me.”

Silver Cross is the only facility in Will, Grundy and Kankakee Counties offering Mako robotic-arm assisted procedures for adults living with early to mid-stage osteoarthritis.  Mako Partial Knee Replacement is less invasive than traditional total knee surgery. A pre-surgical plan is created based on a CT scan of the patient’s own knee, and the surgeon uses the robotic arm during surgery to resurface the diseased portion of the knee, sparing healthy bone and surrounding tissue for a more natural feeling knee. An implant is then secured in the joint to allow the knee to move smoothly again.

“Accuracy is key in planning and performing partial knee procedures,” said Dr. Antkowiak. “The Mako robot helps take the guesswork out of surgery, resulting in a more accurate placement and alignment of the implant.”  

There are many benefits to partial knee replacement surgery.  "After this type of procedure, many patients, like Gayle, experience a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, and quickly resume most activities," said Dr. Antkowiak.  "Most importantly, after partial knee replacement surgery, patients experience a significant relief of pain as Gayle did."

To ensure that joint replacement is a success, patients attend a special program to learn exactly what to anticipate before and after the surgery, the daily expectations of rehabilitation therapy, and what you can do to recover more quickly. If additional care is needed, patients benefit from Silver Cross Home Health and The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) at Silver Cross Hospital for inpatient and outpatient therapy. RIC has been ranked as the #1 Rehab hospital by U.S. News & World Report for 26 years in a row.

Dr. Antkowiak also performs Mako Total Hip Replacement at The Midwest Institute for Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital. During Mako Total Hip Replacement surgery, the Mako system provides visualization of the joint and biomechanical data to guide the bone preparation and implant positioning to match the pre-surgical plan. After first preparing the femur or thighbone, the surgeon uses the robotic arm to accurately ream and shape the acetabulum socket in the hip, and then implant the cup at the correct depth and orientation. The surgeon then implants the femoral implant.  


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Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care.  These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.