Robert V. Knowlan, MD

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November 30, 2023

Bob B.

Dr. Knowlan and his team did a fantastic job with my hip replacement surgery and I am nearly back to normal after just 15 days. The entire experience from diagnosis, to planning, to execution and recovery, was very professional and effective. The crew at Woodwinds Hospital was great as well. They helped me through the first 18 hours after surgery and quickly got me on the way home the next morning. Thank you Dr. Knowlan. I really appreciate what you’ve done for me!

November 14, 2023

Roxann P.

Dr. Knowlan and his team are nothing short of amazing. My hips and knees were bone on bone and several friends recommended him to me. Normally these procedures would take 4 years, replacing one per year. I didn’t want to deal with it that long, and Dr. Knowlan did all four procedures within a 9 month period. I’m now able to do things I haven’t been able to do for years, like going up and down stairs, crossing my legs, sitting cross legged, and putting on my socks by myself. These things are no big deal to the average person, but a very big deal to someone who can’t do them. I don’t need my scooter or walker anymore. I couldn’t be happier with the results. The team at Eagan Orthopedic Surgery Center and the EXCEL Care Suites were also amazing. I felt like I was treated like royalty. I would do this again in a heartbeat, though I wouldn’t recommend doing the surgeries so close together. I’ve dealt with chronic pain most of my life since I have scoliosis, so the recovery pain wasn’t that big of a deal for me.

August 8, 2023

Theodore T.

For hip replacement, Dr. Knowlan exclusively uses the anterior (front) approach, which offers a faster recovery time than the posterior (rear) approach. A layman’s view is that the posterior approach involves cutting of muscle, while the anterior method allows the surgeon to push muscles aside. The anterior method requires more expertise on the part of the surgeon, because the view of the hip joint is more restricted.

My surgery went unbelievably well and I’m 83 years old. I barely had any pain and took just Tylenol for a few days. I went to a wedding 4 days after surgery (using a walker). Shortly after that I switched to a cane, which I ditched about 2-3 weeks after surgery. I was driving 3 weeks post-surgery, even though surgery was for my right hip.

I began pre-op exercises about a month before surgery and have been doing the post-op exercises (it is now 7 weeks since surgery). It is important to do these to strengthen key muscles since it reduces recovery time. Dr. Knowlan says I don’t have any restrictions for movement now and I can golf.

Dr. Knowlan’s team was wonderful. Also, everyone at Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater was very caring. Even the food was excellent!

July 17, 2023

Cynthia D.

I’m so happy to have my mobility back. Thank you to Dr. Knowlan and team for excellent care and support. This is my second joint replacement from Dr. Knowlan. If I need another I will be back!

December 6, 2022

Scott G.

I’d like to thank Dr. Knowlan and his care team for the outstanding service and care they provided before, during and after my procedure. I cannot say enough about TCO and their staff. They provided competent and professional care and communication every step of the way. Thanks again!

October 15, 2022

Leo J.

The medical community is very blessed to have Dr. Knowlan & Peter Larson, PA-C  serving this area with their expertise and professional care. Dr. Knowlan has done all of my orthopedic care. To attest to his knowledge and care, I’m able to play golf again! My age is 90 years old. I am very grateful.

November 21, 2021

Shelley R.

Sending a huge thank you to Dr. Knowlan for an amazing visit. I was ahead of schedule and was seen to moments after arriving. The staff were friendly and kind. Dr. Knowlan showed up and certainly had reviewed my chart because he asked about previous injuries before addressing today’s concerns. Regarding my current issues, Dr. Knowlan provided a diagnosis, cause of pain and reviewed imaging with me. He provided 3 possible treatment options and long term prognosis. I wish all of my doctors would provide this level of care! It was an excellent experience and would highly recommend Dr. Knowlan. He is a hometown guy! Thank you!

January 26, 2021

William W.

How would I describe my experience with Dr. Knowlan at TCO? Absolute perfection, articulate, and flawless. The quality of the surgeon and surgery are unparalleled. Even the incision for my hip replacement is almost the quality of a plastic surgeon. Dr. Knowlan’s personality is very welcoming and family-like. I personally think that I am very fortunate to have been cared for him. Thank you, Dr. Knowlan.

January 23, 2021

Theresa O.

I am so happy to finally be pain free after total knee surgery with Dr. Knowlan and EXCEL program. Dr. Knowlan and his team are wonderful! I look forward to walking and biking soon with my new knee.

January 20, 2021

Chad N.

Dr. Knowlan did a great job with the reconstruction and cleanup of my torn meniscus. I debated a long time about having the surgery but I’m sure glad I did!!! Thank you Dr. Knowlan and TCO!

December 13, 2020


Pre-op and post-op for my hip replacement surgery went very well. The surgery staff and hospital staff in Stillwater were above excellent. I will likely need my other hip done at some point in the future. Dr. Knowlan will be my first choice!

October 13, 2020

Bernard M.

I want to thank Dr. Knowlan and his team for the amazing job they did replacing my hip on September 8, 2020. I have no pain and I can hardly see the scar. I am sincerely grateful!

September 11, 2020


I had a lot of cleanup surgeries over the past 43 years. When it was time for the total knee operation, Dr. Knowlan did an awesome job. I had no pain and bed side matter was great. Thanks Dr. Knowlan!

May 14, 2020

Laurel W.

I’m able to walk and cycle without pain as well as sleep comfortably. It’s really amazing how immediate the results are felt and how fast the healing occurs. I would definitely do it again if needed.

March 4, 2020

Rosemary E.

I was in so much pain prior to the surgery I wasn’t able to do much of anything. I no longer have that pain and am able to do everything I’m allowed at this point. It’s wonderful to be without pain.

February 12, 2020

Bryan C.

This is my second hip done by Dr. Knowlan hopefully I’m done with the hips. I give him and TCO the highest compliments, I even sent my father to Dr. Knowlan for both of his hips.

February 4, 2020

Richard S.

Getting back to normal activities is wonderful. Knowing that I’ll be able to stand and walk after sitting without pain is great and relieving.

January 28, 2020

Gary E.

Surgery with Dr. Knowlan has enabled me to eventually return to my volunteer activities & outside interests. Thank you to the skill & dedication of the medical staff that has made this possible.

December 18, 2019

Charlene N.

Before the surgery with Dr. Knowlan, I could hardly walk 1 block and my knee and ankle would swell up and hurt and would need help getting up from a chair. After the surgery, I am able to walk a lot more, I feel I will be able to walk the 2 to 3 miles like I used to before my knee problem and I can move around a lot more and do not need help getting up from a chair.

November 19, 2019

Larry K.

My hip replacement surgery done by Dr. Knowlan has completely eliminated my pain. I am able to sleep much better and also stand without pain. I am 100% satisfied with my decision to have it done.

September 30, 2019

Susan J.

I am able to do my daily activities much better. I am moving around my house without aid of cane or walker. I am able to drive without pain. I can shop for groceries and attend things such as church!

September 30, 2019

Alice S.

I have returned to a complete pain free normal life; cardio lifting weights walking snowmobiling riding horse bowling anything I want to do yippee!!!

September 24, 2019

William R.

I can now do the things I could no longer do before the surgery like golfing, spinning and hopefully skiing.

September 23, 2019

Pat P.

Had a hip replacement November 2017. I considered myself pretty active and with officiating 4 sports, my hip got so bad that I was in tremendous pain and thought I would have to give officiating up. Met with Dr. Knowlan and he started the game plan for me to have a total left hip replacement in the EXCEL program. What a life changer that was. Surgery went extremely well and I followed all his directions on recovering from the surgery. I couldn’t believe how quickly I recovered from the surgery. I was back to umpiring in the spring of 2018 and basketball in 2018-19. I have had no problems with my left hip at all. I would recommend hip replacements to anyone needing one, just follow what TCO and Dr. Knowlan tells you, and you will recover 100% with no problems like I did.

September 18, 2019

Michael K.

I’m still waiting to get my left hip replaced, but the right side made a world of difference. Pain from the surgery was very manageable. They had me up and walking as soon as the anesthesia wore off.

September 10, 2019

Vincent R.

Before the surgery I had difficulty with basic tasks including tying my shoes and bending down to pick up items; even walking. Now I’m virtually pain free and have resumed working out.

September 9, 2019

Dean C.

One of the best decisions I’ve made in my life was to have hip replacement surgery done by Dr. Knowlan and his fine staff!

August 23, 2019

Neil C.

I am able to function as well as before the hip started to hurt. I didn’t have to use my cane after about the third day. I am absolutely satisfied with the results.

July 22, 2019

Dennis O.

Before surgery with Dr. Knowlan I couldn’t hold my grandson for more than 5 mins. Now I can hold him as long as I want. I can also mow the lawn as long as I want where before I had a great deal of pain and had to stop several times. Now I am able to snowshoe and cross-country ski and go hiking which I couldn’t do before surgery

June 28, 2019

Lee H.

Dr. Knowlan is top notch! Every appointment had value and he was great at explaining the “why” behind what they were doing and what to expect at each stage of the process. Best doctor I have seen thus far.

June 19, 2019

Brandon S.

I was in unbelievable pain for 2 years. After the surgery with Dr. Knowlan I was back to normal the same week.

June 5, 2019

Curtis S.

As a high activity handball player 3 times per week; the hip replacement done by Dr. Knowlan gave me ability to move around the court pain free.

May 14, 2019

Laton H.

I am so happy I had Dr. Knowlan as my surgeon. He made my legs the same length; no lifts in my shoe. I get better every day. Walking is so much easier.

April 28, 2019

Elizabeth K.

In 2005 I was in a bad car accident. I had 40 crushed bones in my right ankle. Dr. Knowlan put everything back together and for 8 years I walked with a brace and a cane. He saved my ankle! Then I got arthritis. It was very painful and Dr. Knowlan suggested ankle replacement. So, in 2013, Dr. Dahl did the replacement and when I was able to put weight on it, the pain was gone and now I got my life back! Except for the scars, no one would know I had an ankle replacement…… cane and no brace!

April 1, 2019

Scott J.

My hip surgeries by Dr. Knowlan have restored full functionality with no pain. It is a night and day difference that totally eliminated my pain.

April 1, 2019

Karen S.


As the wheelchair carried me through the Twin Cities Orthopedics (TCO) Urgent Care door, my thoughts kept returning to the moment on the bike trail where I crashed while bicycle riding. While waiting to be seen by the nurse practitioner (NP), my thoughts drifted back to the beginning of the bike ride, where I visualized the beautiful crisp fall day, until I was jolted back to reality from the searing pain I was experiencing from the bike accident.

“What exactly happened to cause the bike accident?” asked the NP.

“I have no memory of it,” I said. “I recall riding on the Gateway Bike Trail when suddenly I was out of control and slammed on to the asphalt, losing consciousness.”

The NP began gently assessing me noting bruising and swelling over the right clavicle and shoulder, the left hand and wrist, and the right hip to the knee. X-rays were taken and a follow up appointment was scheduled with Dr. Knowlan.

Dr. Knowlan’s assessment determined I had a Grade I AC joint separation and a large hematoma of the right thigh. He suggested an MRI of the left hand/wrist since I was still swollen, bruised and tender to the touch. The MRI revealed a fractured left scaphoid. Dr. Knowlan referred me to Dr. Karlstad for follow up with the fractured scaphoid.

Three months past when Dr. Karlstad determined that the scaphoid was fused enough that I could transition from a cast to a custom-made removable splint. At this time, hand physical therapy (PT) was added to my list of rehabilitation routine.

My rehabilitation journey began with concussion PT at the Training HAUS since I was diagnosed with a concussion by the neurologist. The physical therapist designed a program so I could begin to walk on the treadmill and regain my strength.

Each day I tackled the various tasks before me on the road towards recovery. There were so many activities that I struggled to do or could not do such as driving, working, walking my dogs, preparing meals, cleaning my house, fall cleanup in the yard, changing the sheets on my bed, volunteering at church or as a therapy dog handler, and training with my triathlon group. My frustration would wax and wane as each week passed.

Four weeks post-accident, the physical therapist stated that I could begin to drive. I recall walking to my car after my PT session and informing my friend, who drove me, that I was going to drive home. I felt a sense of triumph that not only was I able to drive but I was slowly regaining my independence. During this time frame I was able to walk half of a mile.

My walking distance increased to 1-1.5 miles by the tenth week, and preparing my own meals was more doable. I was able to start swimming and riding a stationary bike in my cast. I was little by little making a comeback.

As the weeks went by and I was able to walk longer distances, my left foot began to hurt. I made an appointment with Dr. Clair. He determined that I had cuboid syndrome. He felt that when I was thrown forward over the bike’s handle bars that my foot, being cleated to the bike pedal, popped out of the pedal hard enough to contribute to the diagnosis. Foot PT was added to my rehabilitation journey.

Several times a week I would visit TCO for doctor and PT appointments. Twenty-one weeks after the bike accident, the scaphoid fracture had healed enough so I did not need to wear the splint. I had both hands free. I could finally walk my two dogs and put a fitted sheet on the mattress.

Returning to work as a nurse anesthetist after 25 weeks was an incredible victory. I wondered every week during my rehabilitation if I would be able to preform my job. Exhausted at the end of my first day, I smiled at my accomplishments knowing I was back.

The TCO team has been supportive and encouraging throughout my feat of weekly rehabilitation. As I reflect over the past 6 months, I know the TCO crew, who have been a pivotal role in my rehabilitation comeback, were (are) smiling with me each step of the way through my journey to recovery.

March 13, 2019

Brady M.

With this knee surgery by Dr. Knowlan; I have been able to work out again without my knee going numb/giving out.

December 17, 2018

Cary K.

TCO and Dr. Knowlan’s team were great to guide me through this ongoing process. We had a lot of knee damage from a college injury; maintained a care plan to maximize mobility and health.

December 11, 2018

Myrna H.

I used to consider if I went downstairs to do laundry, I would be limited in other things for 2-3 days and pain at night would be terrible. Now I say all the time, ‘I love my new hip!!’

November 20, 2018

John P.

I am a veteran that has suffered injuries from military service. I have had two surgical procedures done at TCO in the past and have been extremely pleased in both cases. They were not pushy and spent the time to consult with me, discuss options and answer all my questions to my satisfaction. In May of 2018, I started to have a lot of pain in my hip and in July I had both x-ray and MRI completed at the Veterans Administration showing that I had a “bone on bone” situation and needed surgery. My wife and I met with Dr. Robert Knowlan at TCO and he had another x-ray done to confirm the VA’s findings. I was very concerned about hip surgery as I had heard about a painful and extended recovery period from that procedure. Dr. Knowlan explained that by doing a procedure known as the anterior hip replacement that I would be up and walking in two days. Dr. Knowlan spent a lot of time with us and provided a lot of assurance. We decided to go ahead with the surgery. Everything went just as he said. Dr. Knowlan met with us after the surgery and the next day to “check-up” as well. We couldn’t ask for more. I was out of the hospital after one day and walking without a cane in two weeks. If I had to do it again…Dr. Knowlan would be my guy! We would not hesitate to recommend Dr. Knowlan to others in need.

October 29, 2018

Gloria N.

I was so afraid to have my knees replaced even as much pain that I was in. I finally did it and 4 months later did the other side. Awesome results with surgery by Dr. Knowlan, hospital, therapy and recovery has been unbelievable!

October 22, 2018

Debra B.

Dr. Knowlan gave me my active life back. As an OR nurse I’m able to be on my feet 10 plus hours a day doing what I love and helping patients get back their quality of life back. Now as a knee replacement patient I can identify even more with them and give them my positive outcome story and the proof that they too will be able to do most of the things they’ve given up or sacrificed due to their knee pain. I get to do all the things outside of work that were either painful or I’d say I couldn’t do because of the anticipated pain that would come with it. It affects every aspect of your life when you can’t participate in activities that bring you joy and happiness! I have my life back again and gladly tell others how happy I am with Dr. Knowlan and his awesome team! It was the best thing I’ve done for myself!

August 21, 2018

Roger S.

Surgery went very well and got me back to being able to do as much as my age would allow in much less time than I could have imagined. I should have had it done earlier.

July 25, 2018

Laurie G.

One year ago, before my surgery with Dr. Knowlan I was in constant pain, unable to walk short distances without my knee locking up, unable to exercise, and unable to enjoy normal every day activities. Today I am performing vigorous exercises at the gym, climbing over 600 stair towers, hiking, biking, shopping and many other activities without pain.

July 24, 2018

John V.

Before surgery my hip was so painful I could not do anything without much pain. But now still every day I notice I am moving, turning, lifting, running upstairs and other movements. All I can do is smile because I remember for years these were movements I could not do that now I do without thinking about it and with NO PAIN. I am still doing my pt exercises and working up more and more strength on my bow flex and I feel better than I have in 15 or more years. Dr. Knowlan and his team have changed my life so much for the better it is indescribable. THANK YOU! Okay going to play pain free golf now!

July 19, 2018

Jim E.

Dr. Knowlan,

Good morning, I stopped by your office in Stillwater yesterday. I was in the area and wanted to express my extreme pleasure on the outcome of my hip replacement your team performed in January of this year. I was able to tell the staff up front about complete satisfaction.

Everything I was told before my operation was spot on and beyond my expectations. Everyone on your team gave 110% and I am extremely grateful for the outcome. Prior to surgery, I was unable to sit comfortably and when getting on my motorcycle I witnessed a lot of pain trying to lift my leg over the frame. I no longer have this pain and now can sit comfortably and can now lift my knee to bend over to my other knee with out any discomfort. Another bonus is I can now walk more upright and without the pain I previously had. It is very nice to be able to take a speed walk with my wife without experiencing a fair level of discomfort/pain! Also, I was very impressed with your visit the night of my surgery….even with the snow storm.

In closing, thank you and your great team for the wonderful outcome of my surgery. I am very grateful to be able to get back to doing things I didn’t think I would ever be able to do again!

Jim E.

July 10, 2018

Lynda O.

I went from being unable to do most daily things to having no pain and sleeping a full night without waking every time I moved. I feel like a new person.

July 9, 2018

Anne F.

I truly got my mobility back. I walk with no pain; I hike with no pain; I sleep with no pain; life is good at 69 years old!

June 13, 2018

Shelley H.

I’m able to walk without pain and I haven’t been able to do that for over 10 years. I now look forward to doing daily tasks without pain and not having to take breaks because of pain. I’m able to go to work and know that will be able to make it through the entire day without being in pain and physically exhausted. I now have my life back! The only regret I have is that I didn’t do it sooner.

June 5, 2018

Eileen M.

The surgery with Dr. Knowlan took away the pain that sapped my energy and prevented me from living an ordinary life. Now I can walk and move normally. I honestly feel that I have a new lease on life. Arthritis was making me feel old and sad. Not having arthritis pain makes me feel younger; happier.

April 22, 2018

Mary P.

49 days today since surgery. The surgery was smooth. Dr. Knowlan – you are the best! Kind, funny, and very direct. The perfect combination. Best – you treated my broken ankle with assurances that I would walk again just fine and heal fast. Third day of full weight on it today. Thanks! (and thanks to John H. for sending me to you!)

April 16, 2018

Jerry B.

Hey Dr. Knowlan, Jerry here. March 11th was my 4 year anniversary of my bilateral knee replacements. Thank you again for returning my mobility. Everything is fantastic, no pain, no Tylenol, no drugs, nothing. I cannot thank you enough and keep up the great work. You, sir, are a great surgeon. Thanks forever. JB

April 16, 2018

Michele B.

I have been working with Dr. Knowlan for many years due to my degenerative arthritis in both of my knees. When the pain and the loss of function became intolerable, we decided it was time for the replacements. His knowledge, experience, and communication were essential in determining which knee to do first, and how soon after to do the second knee. I call it my medical miracle. I am amazed at the outcome. I feel like I am 20 years younger, because the limited function and pain made me feel 10 years older than I actually am. Sometimes I forget how painful and difficult it was to use my knees. Yet, every now and then I realize that I’m walking up stairs without pain, and I smile! I even have to remind myself that I don’t have to use the hand railing. I can stand, walk, and play golf without pain. I can shop without pain. At the end of a long day at work, I walk out to my car and realize how much energy I still have. It has been a life changer for me. I am grateful every day for my knee replacements. Dr. Knowlan is my hero! That may sound a little over the top, but my life is so much better now.

March 27, 2018

Mary H.

I’m able to live my life again. This surgery has been the best thing that has happened to me. Thank you Dr. Knowlan!!!

March 14, 2018

Doris M.

My hip surgeries performed by Dr. Knowlan have allowed me to return to a completely normal life style; doing the activities I want to do without pain.  It has been wonderful.

November 13, 2017

Eric L.

The pain and limitation of motion in the right hip is completely gone! I am doing more physically and am in better shape than in the past 5 years. I don’t run but use the elliptical trainer and Stairmaster at the gym. I feel better than I have in 7 years, no pain and full range of activities. Thank you Dr. Knowlan!

November 6, 2017

Janet H.

Dr. Knowlan,

Just wanted to thank you for the new hip I got one year ago today (9-29-15). We spend our winters in Colorado and before the surgery you told me I should be able to downhill ski by January, so that’s exactly what I did. I took my first couple runs on January 4th and slowly built up my stamina. Throughout the winter, I skied more and became better than I ever have in the past. I was able to accomplish this without any falls or sore muscles. Thanks to you and all the good physical therapists that I worked with very diligently. Thank you very much!! Great jobs!


November 6, 2017

Julie Z.

Dear Dr. Knowlan,

Although it seems like yesterday, it has been a year since you performed my hip replacement surgery. I went from excruciating pain every time I got in or out of the car or bed to being absolutely pain free since my surgery. Thank you so much for giving me back my life! I am so grateful to you and your team. I’ve told everyone that if they should ever need a hip replacement, Dr. Knowlan is the best. When my husband Steve and I met with Dr. Hartleben, we told him we wanted the best surgeon. He didn’t hesitate to recommend you. I even got to go to a  hospital close to home with the most wonderful caring staff, I couldn’t be happier.

Thank you again!

Julie Z

November 6, 2017

Cookie H.

Dr. Knowlan – I wanted to let you know how grateful I am 10 weeks out and life is really good, no improvements on golf scores though. It was great being in your care and I felt very confident. Always great to see you and chat even if its for a post-op visit. Please thank Pete and other team members.

Best wishes dear friend,
Cookie H.

November 6, 2017

Carol H.

Dear Dr. Knowlan,

I want to thank you for the excellent surgery you did on my hip (torn tendon). I also want to thank you for being honest with me about the difficulty of this surgery and the possible outcomes. I really appreciate that especially. I also want to thank you for sitting down and taking the time to talk to me and answer all my questions. I hope your daughters graduation party turned out well. I know it was very warm but there were no storms on Saturday. I will see you in January and I will continue to walk hard to get stronger and maybe even try the skis again.

Carol H.

July 18, 2017

Jeff S.

Dr. Knowlan and the TCO team was awesome! From the initial consults when I couldn’t walk without great pain through the follow up care after surgery when I threw my cane away, they treated me professionally and with respect, and the results were exactly as predicted. My life has completely turned around. Thank you TCO!

January 21, 2016

Jerry B.

In March, it will be two years since Dr. Knowlan replaced both of my knees. There are no words to express my appreciation. I was a 62 year old beat up P.E teacher with osteoarthritis and Dr. Knowlan came up with a plan for a bilateral knee replacement. Because of his surgical skills, I was on the driving range one month later and playing one week after that. Two years later and I have no need for ibuprofen, Tylenol, etc. I can walk daily for 5 miles and do the elliptical for 45 minutes with no pain and no discomfort. Great surgeon and wonderful physical therapists.