Ryan J. Hoel, MD, is a board certified fellowship trained spine surgeon who specializes in nonoperative and operative management of all spinal conditions, with an emphasis on minimally invasive surgical techniques. He treats spinal disorders of both the neck and back, including disc herniations, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, spinal cord compression, arthritis of the spine, and spinal deformities. He performs motion-preserving surgeries, such as disc replacements, and uses muscle-preserving surgical techniques.
His treatment philosophy is that if a condition can be treated successfully without surgery, nonoperative measures should absolutely be tried before considering an operation. For those patients who do not respond to nonsurgical modalities, surgery can be considered, but must be tailored to the patient’s specific problem and anatomy. His goal is to select the smallest operation that will lead to a successful outcome, and he partners with patients on determining the treatment plan, with the goal of relieving pain and returning to activity. Dr. Hoel utilizes minimally invasive surgical procedures to allow the patient to have the shortest possible recovery time while maximizing long term outcomes.
Learn More About Dr. Hoel
Spine and Neck Care, including Decompressions, Microdiscectomies, Disc Replacements, Fusions with an Emphasis on Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques and Robotic-Assisted Surgery
Pediatric Care, including Treatment of Pediatric Spinal Disorders such as Kyphosis, Pars Defects and Spine Fractures
Fracture Care, including Treatment of Broken Bones of the Upper and Lower Extremities, including Hip Fractures, Forearm Fractures and Ankle Fractures
Board Certified, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
Spine Surgery Fellowship, San Diego Spine Foundation, San Diego, CA
University of Minnesota Orthopedic Surgery Residency, Minneapolis, MN
Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, NE
My “back” story started in February 2022. My pain started in my right hip and radiated down my right leg. As the weeks went by, the pain in my right hip and leg continued to increase. The pain increased to the point that it became very difficult to get out bed, stand from a sitting position, or walk any distance longer than a block. I attempted other treatment options, including Chiropractic treatments, to try and relieve the pain with no success. I turned to Twin Cities Orthopedics for help. I was diagnosed with instability at L 4-5, which shocked me since I had no back pain. I had a spinal injection, oral steroids, and physical therapy. These produced mild improvement but the pain returned. I met with Dr. Hoel and immediately felt confident in him. He had extensively reviewed my case and images and explained to me point by point what was going on with my back. We discussed my options and his recommendations. I felt it was a real patient-doctor relationship keeping my best interest in mind. I’m very pleased with the outcome of my surgery and with the care I received from Dr. Hoel and his staff. I would highly recommend him. He will take very good care of you!
October 16, 2022
I had 3 years of extreme discomfort, loss of strength, and pain in my left shoulder and arm areas. Finally at the age of 63, I went to TCO through a referral from my primary doctor. Prior to that, I saw two other specialists who recommended physical therapy, which helped reduce the pain until another injury brought it all back.
After reviewing my MRI, Dr. Hoel immediately came to the conclusion that a fusion of my C4-C6 vertebrae was needed to relieve the nerve pain and loss of strength that had been occurring. Dr. Hoel explained the process to me and set precise expectations, which were 100% accurate after my surgery. After 2 weeks, my nerve pain was completely gone. Now 6 weeks after surgery, my strength has returned to 75% and I can do anything I want to including golfing, running and weightlifting. This was the best medical experience I’ve ever been through. It’s truly unbelievable.
October 4, 2022
In August 2022, I had surgery to fuse my L5 to S1 vertebrae. I went to a few surgeons before selecting Dr. Hoel. I felt like just another case to the other surgeons. Dr. Hoel was different. He fully listened to me to determine the root cause of my back and leg pain. I felt like an actual person. The surgery went very well! I feel great post-surgery. I am so glad I chose Dr. Hoel.
April 17, 2022
Dr. Hoel‘s diagnosis for a bulging disc, causing leg pain in both of my legs, was spot on. He recommended a minimally invasive surgery (decompression) of L4/L5. The surgery was great and my leg pain was completely gone in 2 weeks! He is the only surgeon in my 65 years that ever personally called me the day after to see how I was doing. I would highly recommend Dr. Hoel to anyone with back issues. He is great!
January 20, 2022
In December 2021, Dr. Hoel performed major back surgery to relieve severe stenosis and to fuse L3 L4. The pain I was experiencing before the surgery was very substantial, not only in my lower back, but also down the front and back of both legs. I had difficulty doing anything and everything and was pretty much confined to my favorite chair. After surgery it was like a miracle. Over a period of about 2 weeks, all of my back and leg pain were gone. I could walk, sleep and do virtually any task pain free! Dr. Hoel accomplished everything he set out to do and more. And he did this in a very caring way, always taking the time to explain and answer my questions . I couldn’t be more satisfied than I am with my entire experience with Dr. Hoel and would very highly recommend him to anyone needing spinal care.
December 7, 2021
Words can’t express my admiration and appreciation for Dr. Hoel. I didn’t have back pain but numbness in my feet. He explained carefully what he viewed in the MRI and shared his recommendation. Then, very patiently and thoroughly answered my questions. In my second visit, I experienced the same highly professional service. Julie, his nurse, I found to be of the same quality. Whether it was via a phone call or an office visit, I was never given the impression they didn’t have time for me or my concerns. My surgery was a success and I owe it all to his knowledge, compassion and thoroughness. It is very easy for me to recommend him.
November 27, 2021
I had a fairly sudden onset of pain in my buttock radiating down right leg. It was excruciating and I was unable to get relief. After going to TCO urgent care, having an x-ray, receiving pain meds and muscle relaxants, along with a subsequent MRI, I was referred to Dr. Hoel. He explained my problem and gave me 3 options for possible treatment. I chose the discectomy, as it was the least intrusive and had the shortest recovery option. Within a few days I was scheduled for surgery and it was performed under general anesthesia. I was discharged the same day and the leg pain was gone.
I had a bout of nausea and vomiting the day after surgery and called Dr. Hoel’s assistant, who ordered anti-nausea medication. Dr. Hoel called me the next day to see if I was doing better. I was amazed that he took the time to check in with me. The medication worked well and I felt fine. Subsequently, I quickly was only taking Tylenol for pain. Five days after surgery, I received another call from Dr. Hoel to see how I was doing. I was happy to report that all was going well.
I just had my 6 week post-op appointment and I have had no further leg or nerve pain. I have been quite active and can return to golf, tennis, and pickleball in 6 weeks. My only physical therapy has been walking. I have a little low back stiffness, but considering I am 78 and have a lot of arthritis, I think I am doing great! I was very impressed with Dr. Hoel and would highly recommend him.
November 11, 2021
Dr. Hoel and the entire staff at Twin Cities Orthopedics were outstanding. I’ve had multiple back surgeries over the years, and when we moved to Minneapolis a few months ago and I had a recurrence of a herniated disk that had been operated on by two previous surgeons. Dr. Hoel proved to be an excellent diagnostician and when it became apparent that I needed surgery, he also proved to be an excellent surgeon. Although he faced a tough challenge, due to significant scar tissue from my previous surgeries, he skillfully took care of my disk and I had a more complete and rapid recovery than ever before. His manner with patients is calm, friendly, and confident. The entire support staff, from front desk personnel to nurses and technicians, turned out to be highly capable and very good to work with. I would recommend Dr. Hoel and TCO to anyone!
October 25, 2021
Dr. Hoel performed a C5-6 discectomy and fusion at M Health Fairview for my neck, shoulder, and arm pain. Wow, my pain was completely gone! I’m now 9 weeks post-surgery. I am still totally pain free and almost 100% back to normal daily life.
From the moment I met Dr. Hoel, I had complete confidence in his ability to help me, although I had doubts that I would be able to get rid of all the pain. We initially tried more conservative treatment (rest and injection) but that did not afford much relief from the constant pain in my neck, shoulder and arm. Once we decided together to go ahead with the surgery, I felt positive that it was the right decision.
Dr. Hoel was very open and honest, yet reassuring, about the procedure and expected outcomes. His care coordinator, Julie, really worked hard to help me prepare for the surgery, navigating COVID requirements and a short timeline so that I was able to go on a long-planned vacation just 4 weeks after surgery. Thank you Dr. Hoel, and your entire team!
October 16, 2021
I went to see Dr. Hoel because of severe pain in my lower back and down my legs. It was always worse when I was walking and bending over. The pain was relieved when I could sit down, but once I got up, it was only a matter of time before I needed to sit again. An MRI revealed that my 5th lumbar was not stable and was narrowing my spinal cord resulting in the pain down my legs (spondylosis and spondylolisthesis).
Dr. Hoel listened carefully to my descriptions of the pain I was having. He was compassionate and explained my diagnosis carefully. After our first meeting, I decided to do some research and came back to ask more questions. Again, he was very helpful and answered all of my questions and concerns. I tried physical therapy first, but when that proved unsuccessful, I asked to have the surgery. Dr. Hoel suggested to replace my disc and to fuse my 4th and 5th lumbar vertebrae together. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I had this surgery! The pain in my back and down my legs was completely gone right away. It was miraculous! Dr. Hoel really impressed me with his kindness, compassion, and knowledge. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him to others.
October 5, 2021
I had THE BEST possible surgical outcome with Dr. Ryan Hoel. I had persistent and severe sciatic back, hip, and leg pain due to a herniated disc. It disappeared immediately after microdiscectomy surgery. Recovery was easy compared to the prior pain. It was almost tedious since I felt so well and was excited to return to life activities. I can only wish this level of success for all patients. Thanks to Dr. Hoel, TCO staff, and hospital personnel for prompt, professional, and exceedingly helpful care in turning my life around. My family is ever-so grateful also.
August 8, 2021
I had severe pain in my lower back, which was a bulged disc. Dr. Hoel explained the situation and suggested surgery. After surgery I couldn’t believe how great I felt! Recovery time only took a few days and I felt good as new! I’ve suffered lower back pain for years. It is so wonderful to have a permanent solution. Dr. Hoel is friendly and personable, with a sense of humor. Doctor/Patient rapport is important to me, as it makes me feel at ease and comfortable. I would highly recommend Dr. Hoel for back/spine treatment.
July 6, 2021
I saw Dr. Hoel for Spinal Stenosis. After my surgery, I had no more pain and felt terrific. I would highly recommend him.
June 30, 2021
I went to see Dr. Hoel after two failed attempts of a cortisone spinal injection that was supposed to shrink the cyst in my spine. I was in a lot of pain and had numbness in both legs for about 3 months. Dr. Hoel performed surgery and removed the cyst, and I now am able to walk my dog again and be on my legs for more than 5 minutes. I feel like I have my life back. I received excellent care and he was very attentive to my problem and explained everything so I could understand it.
May 27, 2021
I knew right away after meeting with Dr. Hoel that I trusted him and wanted him to do my surgery. I could no longer walk a short distance or stand for 5 minutes. We discussed my options together and decided surgery would be the best option. He explained the surgery so that I understood exactly what was going to happen and took the time to call my husband and explain it to him. The minimally invasive procedure had many advantages over the way the way this surgery use to be performed. Following surgery, he visited me every day I was hospitalized and he was so kind and concerned about how I was doing, sharing my x-rays with me and reassuring me. I am now 6 weeks out of surgery and have no pain. My surgery was 100% successful! I can now walk and stand as far and long as I want. I have my life back and cannot thank Dr. Hoel enough.
April 27, 2021
I can’t thank Dr. Hoel enough for helping my husband. We have seen so many doctors and TCO was the only place that, not only cared, but understood my husband’s pain regarding his herniated disc. He had surgery today and he his feeling a million times better. Thank you again for giving me my husband back! Dr. Hoel is an awesome surgeon. I would trust him with my family or best of friends. Bonus note: he is one of the good ones.
March 31, 2021
I recently had microdiscectomy surgery with Dr. Hoel on 3/3/2021 after injuring my back on 2/16/2021. His P.A., Jason Ash, reviewed MRI results with me on 2/25/2021, which revealed an extruded disc herniation impinging on my L3 nerve root. I was in absolute agony and was unable to stand or lay without excruciating pain, and was experiencing weakness in my leg. Dr. Hoel kindly worked me into his schedule for a surgical consultation that very same day.
He was wonderful – very compassionate and understanding of the intense pain I was in, patient answering all my questions, and thorough in presenting treatment options with corresponding risks and rewards. I opted to move forward with surgery as soon as possible because the pain was incapacitating. Dr. Hoel’s team fit me into his schedule the following week and my surgery was a complete success! I’m now pain free and ever so grateful for Dr. Hoel’s capable and compassionate care, and for everyone at TCO who helped me swiftly get the treatment I needed. My experience at M Health Fairview was also great, and it was a bonus to hear my pre-op and post-op nurses sing Dr. Hoel’s praises! Thanks again!
January 25, 2021
I can’t say enough wonderful things about Dr. Hoel. Prior to going to TCO, I had been diagnosed multiple times over the years for a back muscle strain. He immediately linked sciatica to my back pain, and ordered an MRI to discover that I had a badly herniated disc. I tried physical therapy and a cortisone shot previously, without any relief. Because I was in such pain that I couldn’t live my life normally, I opted to have a microdiscectomy. Friends and family had me scared of the potential risks for surgery. But Dr. Hoel explained the procedure clearly, and took time to answer all my questions. He was extremely sympathetic to my pain and situation, and his care coordinator was able to schedule the surgery for the time frame I had requested. He explained the procedure clearly, and took time to answer all my questions. The surgery team was wonderful in their compassion and the care they provided me. It’s been two weeks since my surgery and I am happy to say I’m nearly pain free – it feels like a miracle compared to my symptoms prior to the surgery. I can’t thank Dr. Hoel and the entire TCO staff enough. I highly recommend TCO and Dr. Hoel. Thank you!
January 3, 2021
Dr. Hoel worked with me to diagnose and treat a herniated disc in my back. My entire experience with Dr. Hoel was outstanding. The things I appreciated the most was that he acknowledged the pain I was experiencing with sympathy and understanding, and he clearly explained the treatment options available to me as well. Due to being unable to walk or sit without intense pain, I chose the surgery option. Lastly, the surgery was an outstanding success! The pain was gone immediately after surgery. I highly recommend Dr. Hoel, both for the understanding and respect he showed me, as well as for his skill as a surgeon. Thank you Dr. Hoel!
November 19, 2020
I had an accident about 6 years ago. I wasn’t in a lot of pain but as the years passed, it got worse. Just this year it was so bad that I couldn’t walk, stand, sit or sleep for very long. I was referred to Dr. Hoel and he was an angel! We sat down for a talk and I told him I was past the shot phase and needed surgery. It went great. I am 6 weeks post-surgery and I feel better than my old self! I have recommended him to my sister and daughter. Thank you Dr. Hoel. I can’t say that enough!