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Orthopedic Surgeons with Midwest Institute for Robotic Surgery to talk about hip/knee replacement

Walking, taking a bath, getting dressed, and even putting on socks was difficult for Cindy Kittle. Kittle suffers from arthritis due to a condition called hip dysplasia, which means the hip socket did not completely form when she was a child. This can often lead to arthritis at a young age. Her rheumatologist – Dr. Saba Ahmed, referred Kittle to a local orthopedic surgeon.  But due to the complexity of the disease, he sent her to Dr. T. Andrew Ehmke with the Midwest Institute for Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital

Dr. Ehmke is a fellowship trained joint replacement surgeon specializing in minimally invasive hip and knee replacement. He uses the latest techniques and technological advances including robotic-assisted joint replacement with Mako™ and the muscle sparing anterior approach to hip and custom knee replacement. These advanced techniques allow his patients to not only have a shorter recovery with less pain, but also give them a joint replacement that feels more natural. 

Left Hip Replacement – Anterior Approach

A CT scan at Silver Cross revealed Kittle needed both hips replaced.  In June 2016, Dr. Ehmke replaced Kittle’s left hip – which was the most painful, using a muscle sparing anterior approach. During the procedure, he removed arthritic bone and damaged cartilage and exchanged them with a hip implant that is designed to replicate the hip joint. After three weeks of outpatient therapy with The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross, her hip healed quickly. 

When it was time to have her right hip replaced just two months later, Dr. Ehmke performed the procedure with Silver Cross’s new Mako robot. Silver Cross is the only hospital in Will and Grundy counties with this unique technology for total hip and partial knee replacement.  The Mako provided Dr. Ehmke with a patient-specific 3D model used to pre-plan Kittle’s hip replacement. 

More Accurate Alignment

During surgery, Dr. Ehmke guided the robotic-arm based on Kittle’s plan allowing him to focus on removing the diseased bone, preserve healthy bone, and position the total hip implant based on Kittle’s complex anatomy.  

"Cindy was a fascinating case,” explains Dr. Ehmke.  “She had hip dysplasia which gave her very unique anatomy and made her procedure very challenging. Because she had very little bone to work with in her socket, I had to very precisely place her implant to make sure it would be solid. During her first hip replacement, I used an X-ray in the operating room to help with placement of her implants. While this was effective, I was relying on a 2-dimensional instrument to fix a 3- dimensional problem. During her second hip replacement, the Mako system allowed me to see her complicated anatomy in three dimensions prior to surgery which helped me plan exactly how I wanted the surgery to go before I even entered the operating room. Once I began the case I was able to more confidently and accurately place her implants.”  

 After both procedures, Kittle spent just one day at Silver Cross Hospital.  “Everything went extremely well,” exclaimed Cindy. 

 She continued her therapy for another three weeks after the second hip replacement and returned to work in October as a Sterile Processing Technician at Silver Cross. 

“For years, I have cleaned the surgical instruments used in hip replacement surgeries,” Kittle said. “Now, not only do I have a greater appreciation for the advanced technology, but also a deeper respect and admiration for Dr. Ehmke and the other surgeons performing these complex procedures. Thankfully, I feel great.” 

To learn more about Mako robotic-assisted hip replacement surgery visit or join Dr. Ehmke for a free program Wednesday, May 17, from 6 to 7 p.m. at Joliet Junior College, Building U, 1215 Houbolt Rd., Joliet.  Light refreshments will be provided and participants will be entered in a raffle to win a $50 Amazon gift card. Similar programs will also be held April 26 in Morris, May 9 in Tinley Park, and May 26 in Kankakee. Register to attend at

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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.