He might never be featured on ESPN as one of America’s top pickleball players, and that is just fine with Kevin Koplitz. He is just looking forward to playing again.

David Eggert.tif

Dr. David Eggert

Before the Pickett resident had both his knees replaced by Dr. David Eggert and the team at Orthopedic & Sports Institute of the Fox Valley (OSI), playing pickleball or doing anything physical without constant pain would have been out of the question.

“I thought ‘that’s enough,’” Koplitz said of the constant aching in his knees.

He waited until he retired, then called OSI because he said he had heard a lot about robotic surgery and OSI. He asked about making an appointment with Dr. Eggert and was asked, “The son (Dr. Peter Eggert) or the father?” Since he could get in sooner to see “the father,” that was his choice and Koplitz said, “It was a good choice.”

Koplitz, 63, retired as a machine operator and worked for a company for 41-1/2 years. His job involved a lot of standing and some climbing onto machinery. Ergonomics was not a thing until about 15 years ago, so much of Koplitz’s work years were spent standing on concrete. It took a toll on his knees which eventually “wore out,” he said. Over the last four or five years they progressively got worse, especially his left knee. One small silver lining was that Koplitz said he could tell when the weather was going to change—his knees would let him know.

In addition to wanting to play some pickleball, Koplitz said he simply wanted to work outside, go hiking, do some bike riding or walk around without significant pain.

From his first appointment with Eggert at OSI in Appleton, Koplitz said, “I was very impressed with them—super nice, very knowledgeable.”

On Sept. 23, 2022 he had that pesky left knee replaced via robotic-assisted surgery. Preparations for the 7:30 a.m. surgery included taking a COVID test and getting a spinal shot which kept him “not awake but not totally under” for the surgery. He also said he had previously chosen to get shots in his knees which basically freeze the nerves for an extended period of time and makes for a less painful recovery with fewer prescription medications.

Eggert has mastered using robotic-assisted technology, using it because it is more detailed and more accurate. It starts by taking a series of X-rays and/or CT scans to create a 3D model of the joint. This 3D model allows Eggert to plan all the specifics of surgery, such as exact joint dimensions and how much bone needs to be removed. The robotic arm he uses to assist in the procedure provides tactile, visual and auditory feedback to ensure optimum accuracy, alignment and placement of the implant. This, in turn, enhances joint strength, stability and mobility.

As for his recovery, Koplitz had not previously gone through anything like this and said, “I had no clue how it was going to be.” Eggert and the OSI staff provided him with all the information he would need about the procedure and his recovery, answering any questions he had.

Koplitz said his post-op experience was very good, starting with his stay in a hotel-like recovery suite at OSI. There was no excruciating pain, he said, and he got by only taking extra strength acetaminophen.

His care from OSI did not end when he left the facility.

“You get texts every day from OSI telling you what to expect. I’ve got nothing but praise for OSI and Dr. Eggert,” he said.

Less than three months later—on Dec. 13—Koplitz had his right knee replaced in the same manner. Knowing what to expect after the first surgery made the second one easier, he said.

Koplitz used a walker for a week after each surgery. OSI also connected him with a GameReady ice machine which pumps ice water through a wrap placed around the knee and provides swelling reduction and comfort.

Speaking just a little over two months after the second knee was replaced, Koplitz said he is feeling better already.

Koplitz’s respect and appreciation for Eggert and the OSI staff is evident.

“I would highly recommend OSI,” he said. “Dr. Eggert is a super nice doctor where you can sit down and talk to him about anything. He tells you everything that is going to happen.”

Dr. David Eggert is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and performs joint replacement surgery at Orthopedic & Sports Institute of the Fox Valley (OSI).

OSI has a team of highly-trained physicians ready to diagnose and treat an array of orthopedic issues, with locations in Ripon, Appleton, New London, Oshkosh, Shawano and Waupaca.

Orthopedic & Sports Institute of the Fox Valley is part of the Ripon Area Preferred Business program.

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