Published on October 25, 2018

New Lenox Man Returns to Active Lifestyle After Robotic Knee Replacement Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital

Earlier this year Craig Eckert of New Lenox, who also happens to be a Silver Cross Hospital volunteer, experienced terrible bouts of pain in his right knee.

“Daily activities were becoming difficult; one day I was walking the dog and I couldn’t make it back to the house due to the pain. That’s when I knew I had to see a doctor and get this resolved,” said the 65-year-old Eckert.

Craig Eckert
New Lenox resident and Silver Cross Hospital volunteer Craig Eckert is back in the swing following robotic-assisted knee replacement at Silver Cross Hospital.

The most common cause of knee pain in older adults is osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that causes the deterioration of joint cartilage and surrounding bone in the knees. When osteoarthritis of the knees becomes severe, normal activities like walking or going up stairs become painful or nearly impossible.

Eckert’s primary doctor referred him to Rajeev Puri, M.D., orthopedic surgeon with Oak Orthopedics. Dr. Puri specializes in robotic knee replacement surgery at the Midwest Institute for Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross.

“When a patient presents with knee pain, it’s important to get a proper diagnosis and rule out if the problem is originating from issues in the hips or back. After reviewing the patient’s health history and performing a physical exam, it may be necessary to order tests such as X-rays or scans,” stated Dr. Puri.

"I prefer to offer conservative treatment options first for knee pain such as home exercises, physical therapy, bracing, medications or injections. If these methods are not successful, I will discuss surgical options such as a partial or total knee replacement, expected outcomes and rehabilitation,” said Dr. Puri.

New Robotic Technology Used in Knee Replacement

The Midwest Institute for Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross offers Mako™ robotic-arm assisted surgery for partial knee replacement, total knee replacement and total hip replacement surgery.

“The MakoTM surgical equipment has the ability to map out the procedure beforehand and size the implant perfectly by using the patient’s CT scan. The device simulates how the knee will move and act once the implant is in place. This technology can perform a ‘rehearsal’ before the surgery begins, giving the surgeon an opportunity to make adjustments either before or during the knee replacement surgery,” said Dr. Puri.

With the assistance of the Mako™ robot, the orthopedic surgeon replaces the areas of the knee damaged by arthritis with an implant made up of metal and plastic parts. This implant will cap the ends of the bones that form the knee joint.

“I was able to go home the day after my surgery and experienced very little discomfort afterward. I participated in physical therapy after my partial knee replacement - five weeks after my surgery, Dr. Puri said I could return to playing golf! It was such a relief to return to my daily activities without knee pain anymore,” said Eckert.

As for volunteering at the same hospital that cared for him during his knee surgery, Eckert said “I am so thankful how the hospital staff cared for me, from Dr. Puri and his surgical team to all the nurses and staff at Silver Cross Hospital – everyone was just fantastic!”

For more information about robotic-assisted joint replacement, visit

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.