Milestone events are always something to celebrate, and a local doctor can’t pass up the chance to have a cake after an important one in his career.
Dr. David Eggert, who has been providing elite orthopedic care to patients in Ripon for the past 10 years, recently performed his 1,000th robot-assisted surgery using the Stryker mako robot.
But for Fox Valley Orthopedic and Sports Institute (OSI) Eggert, the celebration isn’t about the personal milestone. It’s about the number of people he’s served—the grandparents he’s helped regain mobility, the athletes he’s helped get back to their activities, and the health of the staff and volunteers whose jobs depended on living pain-free.
“This is an exciting milestone for me because of all the pain-free living we celebrate,” Eggert said. “When I think of patients who have had surgery, I am in awe of how many people can walk around Disney World with their grandkids or even kneel in church again. Being a part of that is just the icing on the cake.”
Eggert was quick to give credit to his team, too, for all the successful total and partial knee and total hip replacements they performed with Mako.
“The protégé lawyers who work with me—Cheryl Gauthier, Jennifer Marshall—and all the nurses, surgical techs, and others—make it happen,” he said. “There are so many moving pieces and a whole team of people that play a role in restoring joint health through robotic surgery in OSI. I am grateful.”
According to Eggert, who began performing robot-assisted joint replacements nearly six years ago after having a robot-assisted hip replacement, the exact alignment of the replacement implant is the reason he prefers robot-assisted surgery over traditional methods.
In order to perform the somatic surgery, Eggert directs the Mako robot arm to remove only the diseased part of the knee and place the replacement implants in position. Precise locations are determined using 3D models generated by preoperative CT scans.
“The robotic arm has tracking eyes and is able to adapt to very small movements if they occur during surgery,” Eggert said. “What’s really cool is that the preoperative plan allows me to prepare the bone for implantation by guiding me within the pre-determined area, allowing for more precise and better placement of the new knee. We are able to measure things we couldn’t measure before, and that leads to better patient outcomes.”
In short, the Eggert robot helps prepare the bone, insert the implant, balance it and check for proper fit. Once the implant is in place and the joint is properly balanced, Eggert is able to make any necessary adjustments.
“Without the robot, there is more room for error,” Eggert said. “There are people who think that using a robot to assist in surgery is the easiest way out and that it’s used by ‘bad’ surgeons. But I’m of the opposite mindset. I’m an orthopedic surgeon for over 30 years, and I know the mako robot takes great surgeons and makes them better.”
It has allowed him to talk to patients with almost 100% certainty that their procedure will be a success; Before using the bot, his certainty of success was around 86%.
Dr. David Eggert is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who performs joint replacement surgery at the Fox Valley Sports and Orthopedic Institute (OSI).
OSI has a team of highly trained physicians ready to diagnose and treat a range of orthopedic problems, with locations in Ripon, Appleton, New London, Oshkosh, Shawano and Waupaca.
The Fox Valley Sports and Orthopedic Institute is part of the Ripon Area Preferred Business Program.
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