Dr. Hess is originally from Verndale, Minnesota, where he was raised on a family dairy farm. He completed his undergraduate degree at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, and his medical degree at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He then completed orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
Following residency, Dr. Hess completed a one-year fellowship in Sports Medicine at the Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, Florida, with renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews. While there, Dr. Hess assisted in treating a wide range of injuries in athletes from amateur to professional levels. A particular focus during his time with Dr. Andrews was treatment of shoulder and elbow injuries in overhead athletes (for example, baseball and softball players, volleyball players, tennis players, and javelin throwers).
From 2013-2016, Dr. Hess practiced orthopedic surgery at the University of South Carolina, where he served as an assistant team physician for the USC Gamecocks. During that time, he was also head team physician at South Carolina State University and was part of a group of physicians at USC who provided medical coverage to more than 20 high schools in the Columbia, South Carolina area.
Dr. Hess returned to Minnesota in 2016, joining TCO in the Northwest Metro. Since that time his practice has grown to include a wide range of treatments for problems and injuries of the shoulder, elbow and knee in patients of all ages. His particular interests include shoulder and elbow injuries in overhead athletes, shoulder instability, rotator cuff tears, knee meniscus injuries and cartilage and ligament problems of the knee.
In his spare time, Dr. Hess enjoys playing baseball, golf, hunting, fishing and spending time with his wife Molly and young son and daughter.
TCO Talks with Dr. Hess: Protecting Young Arms: Baseball + Softball – Learn More
Sports medicine, including a broad range of sports injuries in athletes of all ages
Shoulder care, including athlete ligament, tendon, cartilage, and traumatic injuries, shoulder arthroscopy, labral repair, rotator cuff repair, treatment of shoulder instability, and treatment of SLAP tears
Knee care, including tendon, ligament, and cartilage injuries, multi-ligament knee injuries, patella dislocations, knee ligament reconstruction (including ACL reconstruction), articular cartilage repair, and meniscus surgery
Elbow care, including athlete ligament, tendon, cartilage, and traumatic injuries, ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (Tommy John surgery), osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) treatment, biceps and triceps tendon repair
Fracture care, including treatment of common orthopedic fractures
Board Certified, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
Andrews Research and Education Institute, Gulf Breeze, FL Sports Medicine Fellowship
University of Nebraska Medical Center/Creighton Medical Foundation
Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS)
Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA)
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM)
AOA Emerging Leaders
Southern Orthopaedic Association
South Carolina Medical Society
South Carolina Orthopaedic Association
Achievements & Awards
Top Doctor Rising Star: Voted an Orthopedic Rising Star by his peers in Mpls.St.Paul Magazine (2020, 2021)
Frank P. Stone, MD Award for Outstanding Resident Academic Excellence (2012)
AOA Resident Leadership Forum (2011)
Best PGY-3 Teaching Resident of the Year Award (2010)
Standing Ovation Award (2005)
Concordia College Excellence Scholarship (1998 – 2002)
Team Physician: University of St. Thomas (2022 – Present)
Team Physician: Maple Grove High School (2021 – Present)
Team Physician: Rockford High School (2018 – Present)
Medical Director: South Carolina State University (2015 – 2016)
Team Physician: University of South Carolina (2013 – 2016)
Team Physician: South Carolina State University (2013 – 2016)
Team Physician: Columbia SC Area High Schools (2013 – 2016)
Team Physician: Pensacola Blue Wahoos – Cincinnati Reds AA team (2012 – 2013)
Under Armour All-American High School Football Game Medical Coverage (2013)
Team Physician: Auburn University (2012 – 2013)
Team Physician: Omaha South High School Football (2009 – 2011)
During the fall of 2021, I tore my ACL and meniscus playing football. I was worried about the process ahead of me. Luckily TCO was partnered with my school to take care of situations like mine. My surgeon, Dr. Ryan Hess, was astronomical when it came to taking the steps needed to have a healthy recovery. He made me feel at home with all the staff and physical therapy that went along with the process. He made it clear that it was going to be tough but gave me confidence during the whole process. As a three-sport athlete of hockey, baseball and football, I was concerned that I would struggle to get back to the same level I left off at. Dr. Hess and the TCO family instilled that if I did what they said, that I would be even better than before. This became more than true for me. After 9 months of therapy and recovery, I got go to play baseball again. I learned that trusting the doctors at TCO would make me even better as I went on to make All-Section and the All-State tournament team. For this, I cannot thank Dr. Hess and Twin Cities Orthopedics enough!
January 13, 2022
My 17-year old son dislocated and tore his shoulder. With my son’s input, Dr. Hess discussed various options and came to the decision to perform surgery on his shoulder. Dr. Hess is a very personable and professional doctor and surgeon. It wasn’t a black and white situation and he didn’t treat it that way. He wanted to know my son’s thoughts and what his end goals were in all of this. He was thorough and let my son know the risks, setbacks, future outlook, etc. prior to any final decisions being made.
My son’s surgery went great. Dr. Hess was very open and communicative and came out to speak with us not long after surgery was done. I appreciate his ability to work with youth and to speak in a manner where those with less knowledge on medical terminology, can understand well. Though I hope he won’t ever have to do surgery on my kids in the future (for obvious reasons), I wouldn’t even hesitate to seek him out should it ever be needed.
January 13, 2022
My husband was “laid out flat” while wrestling his younger brother and I heard a pop. His knee was sore, but he didn’t have any true pain, and so he ignored it for the time being. Weeks later while trying to get into his truck, his knee buckled, taking him to the ground. At that point he knew it wasn’t something he could ignore anymore.
Insert Dr. Hess. Dr. Hess was professional, relatable, understanding and open-minded. He gave many options beyond surgery and explained exactly what was going on with my husband’s knee. His ACL tore completely off the bone but stayed completely intact. This would be a more unique surgery and one was one that was done less often.
Dr. Hess did an outstanding job and 2 years later, my husband feels great. He was given very clear and reasonable expectations regarding rehab and how his knee would come out of the surgery. My husband feels that those expectations were met and exceeded. It’s easy to say that, should a doctor or surgeon be needed in our family, we will look to Dr. Ryan Hess first. Thank you for being not only an amazing surgeon, but an overall kind and compassionate human being. It did not go unnoticed.
November 23, 2020
I have had knee pain and significant swelling for well over a decade. I finally decided to take action and find a solution. Fortunately, I was referred to Twin Cities Orthopedics, specifically Dr. Ryan Hess. I recall Dr. Hess calling me with my MRI results one Friday evening and spent about 30 minutes with me on the phone explaining his thoughts and what the next steps could be. I remember thinking it was pretty impressive that a doctor would spend time after hours on a Friday explaining to me his advice and what all the possible options and outcomes would be. Ultimately we agreed to move forward with the knee surgery and I couldn’t be happier with the results. I was up and walking around the day after surgery and within a couple of weeks, my knee feels better than it has for over 10 years. I would highly recommend Dr. Hess with TCO. Thanks Dr. Hess & team!
November 20, 2020
I highly recommend Dr. Hess. He was my physician for rotator cuff repair. Dr. Hess was professional, as well as very personable. Prior to surgery he explained the procedure in detail and told me expected out comes. His staff offered great follow up support. Thanks to his wonderful work, I am back enjoying golf with no pain.
August 8, 2020
I am so grateful I found Dr. Hess. He sat down with me and really listened to my concerns and made me feel like a valuable patient. He just performed surgery on my shoulder and I look forward to healing and physical therapy to start my journey to feel pain free.
March 8, 2020
Dr. Hess operated on my shoulder to remove calcific tendonitis and did a fantastic job! I couldn’t be happier with my results. Physical therapy went amazingly well and I have full range of motion back and no longer have pain or trouble sleeping because of my shoulder. He is a hero!!
August 23, 2018
Dr. Hess took the time to listen and explain things regarding my daughter’s knee injury. He’s shown genuine concern and for that I am grateful. He performed her surgery and the care he’s taking with her post op is amazing. He’s totally recommended.
February 28, 2018
Dr. Hess is an extraordinary surgeon! He performed both my surgeries and they were 100% successful. His superb skills were evident in this surgery as I am now close to complete range of motion. He made special efforts to increase the intensity of my therapy when I reached a plateau where my shoulders were becoming stiffer. He continued to follow my progress through therapy until it was complete. I have to compliment Dr. Hess on his professionalism and complete attention to my needs and progress at every office visit. He always made my visits seem to be his first priority with his complete attention during the exams. It has been less than a year since my last surgery and I hope to reach complete range of motion in the next few months. I am so happy I found Dr. Hess as I accredit him to a superb surgery and recovery. I would strongly recommend Dr. Hess to anyone who is in need of his surgical skills and aftercare.
March 17, 2017
A split second slip and fall resulted in a shoulder injury. Gods grace led me to Dr. Hess. Dr. Hess took the time to lay out my options. The injury required surgery but he offered other options. Dr. Hess answered all my questions, listened to my concerns (fears) and walked me through the repair and rehab. I expected a qualified doctor. Dr. Hess proved to be more than a qualified surgeon; a good man. Qualified, capable, confident, kind, compassionate, caring and humble. He hasn’t forgotten his patients are people.
January 6, 2017
I injured my knee running this summer and it just wasn’t getting better. I was familiar with Twin Cities Orthopedics from the fantastic treatment my daughter received there so I sought out a physician that specialized in knees. From my first appointment, through diagnosis and treatment Dr. Hess and the staff at Twin Cities Orthopedics were professional, courteous and caring. Dr. Hess did an excellent job questioning me about my injury and giving me the information I needed to make a decision on how my injury would be treated. I would highly recommend Dr. Hess and Twin Cities Orthopedics to anyone in need of this type of service.
November 13, 2016
Playing football my senior year was very important to me. Tearing the labrum in my right shoulder was not a part of my plan. Dr. Hess spent a lot of time talking with my mom and I about the pro’s and con’s of physical therapy vs. surgery. As I made the decision to have surgery, Dr. Hess was always checking on me, answering all my questions, and explaining the recovery process. He always made me feel like I was his #1 priority. He understood the uniqueness of my situation and my desire to play football again. Dr. Hess gave me hope when so many others told me I would never play again. Joining my teammates on the field halfway through my senior season has been a dream come true! Dr. Hess made it possible for me to play a game I love a few more times. Thank you!
November 10, 2016
Dr. Hess is an outstanding physician who poured his heart and soul into taking great care of our student athletes! In addition to serving as a team orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Hess devoted his personal time to attend various events and competitions. He earned the trust and love of every staff member, parents, and student athlete at LRHS. In the Lower Richland Community, when we think of Dr. Hess, we think of trust, availability, clinical excellence, and most of all, family. You won’t find a more passionate person and physician than Dr. Hess!
November 3, 2016
I started seeing Dr. Hess after having an accident during a 2014 ice storm. The MRI showed severe damage but Dr. Hess said he could help me. After trying a few ways to help me relieve the pain, we ultimately decided on surgery. He removed part of my collar bone and the results were unbelievable. I have no pain and full range of motion. Dr. Hess took care of me and was always concerned about me. He was by far one of the best doctors that I have ever had. I would strongly recommend him to anyone that is in need of a concerned and caring doctor. If I ever need help again he will be the first doctor that I will be in contact with. I have all the confidence and trust in him!