Chicago hip and knee surgeon to the likes of Archie Manning, John Slattery and more

Dr. Richard Berger, right, chats with his patient, Debbie Korb of New York, on Jan. 7. Berger replaced Korb's knee in 2016. (Abel Uribe / Chicago Tribune)

Archie Manning doesn’t remember who first told him about Dr. Richard Berger. The Hall of Fame quarterback said perhaps his son, Peyton Manning, recommended the Chicago orthopedic surgeon. Or maybe it was friends in Dallas or Birmingham. Former President George W. Bush also had been a Berger patient, you know.

Debbie Korb, who works with celebrities as a real estate broker in New York City, didn’t want to say who initially told her about Berger. “When my knee started to act up, I called that person and I said, ‘What’s the name?’ And I got it, and I came. And the next thing you know, a friend of mine in New York is (‘Mad Men’ alum) John Slattery, who a lot of people know. And I said, ‘John, I’m going to Dr. Berger.’ And I said it was the most luxurious operation I have ever had, not that I’ve had many,” Korb told the Tribune earlier this month. She was visiting Berger for a check-up and to accompany another friend — Bob Savage, the painter and husband of fashion designer Nanette Lepore — to his appointment.

These are but a few of the bold-faced names who have come to Chicago to see Berger, an assistant professor at Rush University Medical Center who pioneered minimally invasive hip and knee replacement. Berger said he replaces the joint without cutting muscles, ligaments or tendons, which means a quicker, less painful recovery. He has been performing this type of hip surgery since 2001 and knee surgery since 2003, but social media is helping to draw attention to him now.

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