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When Juanita Murray was in her forties, she was diagnosed with a prematurely worn left knee. A couple decades later, arthritis developed in the knee, which lead to severe pain that limited her mobility. Her pain became so severe that it was excruciating to do simple daily tasks like walking in the food store aisles and bagging her groceries. With her quality of life declining, Murray knew she had to get help soon.  After trying less invasive treatments with no success, Murray decided to have a total knee replacement with the Mako Robotic System at the Midwest Institute of Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital in September 2017.

“I had a great recovery,” said Juanita Murray. “When I woke up from surgery, I couldn’t believe how I felt - like a million bucks! The next day after surgery, I had very little pain and was amazed how well I could walk. I only had to use the walker for three days and a cane for two days. With the help of physical therapy, I was back grocery shopping within 2 ½ weeks after my surgery! It just saddens me that I wasted so much time living with such terrible pain. My advice to others is to have the Mako robotic surgery because the recovery is very painless, and you’ll quickly regain your independence.”

Photo Caption: Pictured is Dr. Andrew Ehmke, orthopedic surgeon with the Midwest Institute of Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital, and New Lenox resident Juanita Murray, who is now pain-free after undergoing innovative robotic total knee replacement surgery. 

Murray’s surgeon was Dr. Andrew Ehmke, who performed the total knee replacement using the Mako Robotic System with the Midwest Institute of Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital. Silver Cross Hospital is currently the only facility in Will and Grundy counties to offer hip and knee replacement procedures using the Mako Surgical Robot.  

“Dr. Ehmke is very knowledgeable and has such a kind bed-side manner,” said Murray. “He fully explained every step of the procedure prior to my surgery which alleviated any of my fears.”  

Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System

Surgeons create a detailed plan specific to each patient. Patients, such as Murray, get a CT scan of the joint, which the surgeon uses to create a 3D virtual model of the knee. The Mako system helps guide the surgeon within the pre-defined area and prevents the surgeon from moving outside the planed boundaries.

“Robotic surgery allows me to accurately restore the anatomy of the knee because of the precision of the Mako Robot,” Dr. Ehmke said. “I am still the one performing the operation and have full control over the robot.  As in Juanita’s surgery, the robot was just another tool to ensure accurate placement of the implant within her knee.”

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.

Knee arthritis is extremely debilitating. When conservative treatment fails, robotic knee replacement may be the answer. Dr. T. Andrew Ehmke, orthopedic surgeon with The Midwest Institute for Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross, will talk about a cutting-edge technique that combines all of the benefits of a minimally invasive approach to knee replacement along with the laser precision of robotic assisted surgery. This free Robotic Total Knee Replacement informational session will be held on Jan. 29 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. 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.