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Patient Testimonials

Read what everyone is saying about TCO

As the largest orthopedic physician group in the Midwest, and one of the largest in the country, you are sure to find a clinic that best meets your needs.

April 4, 2019

Cindy C.

I am in the Bloomington area on business. On the morning of March 11, 2019, I slipped on black ice and knew immediately that I had broken my wrist. Not only did the broken wrist upset and frighten me, but being from out of town, I knew nothing about what doctors that I would end up seeing or the quality of care I would receive. From my experience in the Fairview Ridges Emergency Department to the staff in the Twin Cities Orthopedics surgery center and beyond, I have had care so excellent, it really was beyond my expectations. Dr. Olmsted and physical therapist Matt are number 1 super heroes in my book. I would write more expressing my praise but typing one key at a time with my left hand hinders my ability to do so. I will leave it at this. Should you need care such as this, get in to see this wonderful team if you can. You won’t regret it.

April 1, 2019

Karen S.

MY COMEBACK JOURNEY

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 29, 2019

Jenna G.

A New Year’s resolution centered on healthy habits and a new weight lifting routine came to a screeching halt 9 days into the New Year. Who knew a smoothie could send you on a three month detour and into the OR.

There should be a rule that stressful situations and injuries can not occur before 6:30 am but unfortunately at 6:15 that fateful day, the blade fell out of the blender bucket landing on my finger. Fortunately (and unfortunately) my four year old daughter was there to witness the accident so I was unable to exhibit all of the emotions I felt. She kept telling me to be brave and calm my body down, “breathe in and out Mama. Be brave.”

Five stitches later and I was thrust into the world of Orthopedic Hand Specialists. I made an appointment with “one of the best” they told me. I was hopeful he would be able to figure out why there was no feeling in my finger. I was blown away to hear a provider not rush to surgery. Dr. Bakker wanted to attempt non-invasive therapy first and I was grateful for that step. I didn’t feel pressured into choosing surgery as I had at one of your competitors.

I know that injury is just part of a TCO employee’s work day but many of their patients come following a traumatic or stressful event. Although their priority is to help us heal, handling the emotions that are present is a critical step. From the beginning I felt Dr. Bakker acknowledged those feelings that came from a change to my routine and capabilities. I could no longer pick up my daughter or those heavy weights I was longing to use at the gym. Everything was put on pause and I had to be patient. Eventually it became evident that surgery would be needed to heal the loss of feeling. The surgery center was efficient and everyone I interacted with was so kind. I even ran into someone I went to school with since kindergarten!

Although there are so many things that “could have been worse” about my injury, the delay in getting started with my intended fitness plan was defeating to say the least. Being unable to include the weight bearing exercises my new plan included could have been an excuse. But I did my best (cast and all) to get into the gym and do what I could. I’m grateful to say I’m finally at the stage where I can grip the weights and increase them. I’m starting to see the end of the tunnel. Mr. Bakker and my care team knew it would come but sometimes when you’re in a difficult season it feels as if there will never be an end to it.

My hand therapist, Jodi, not only worked to get my finger functioning at full capacity but provided emotional support through our months working together. She was attentive to my worries about healing and I always left feeling at ease after our appointments together. It took me 34 years to get my first stitches so seeing a scar heal was something I hadn’t experienced. I would come in worried after what I had read on the internet and what my finger looked like and she would rave, “it looks beautiful!” She even welcomed my four year old one day (who had to attend due to a winter snow closing) with open arms. She kept Genevieve entertained and attended to my questions effortlessly. My daughter got to encourage me to be brave and see an example of a “helper.” I’ve told Genevieve, when people need help, there will always be helpers. Look for them. Every day I’m headed to see Jodi, Genevieve says “Be brave mama, your helper will help you.”

So, is there a silver lining in an injury? I suppose mine would be patience and allowing others to help me. My self sufficient nature had to take a back seat and in return I was able to feel supported and encouraged by your team. Now, for the gym date I’ve been waiting for.

March 26, 2019

Cindy

Dr. Koch did my surgery, she is wonderful! A very professional woman with a warm and comforting demeanor. Explains everything and is a good listener. I have already started to refer my family to her.

March 26, 2019

Trudy C.

I fractured my wrist two days before Christmas. I am extremely grateful that Dr. Gesensway and the TCO staff were so thoughtful, proactive, and organized that I was able to have surgery during the short holiday week rather than waiting 10 days. Dr. Gesensway is very personable and an excellent surgeon. My healing process was so much faster than my previous wrist fracture. (Yes, I must be a klutz or maybe just have bad luck when it comes to snow and ice.) He is also a good teacher; I valued having an understanding of my injury and the treatment involved. I especially appreciated how he would repeat certain instructions during post-op appointments. There was no second guessing myself when I wondered what I can or should not do.

March 15, 2019

Charles V.

My wife and I are so impressed with Dr. Marek and his team that we have become frequent flyers with him! Dr. Marek is not only an excellent surgeon but a very caring person. I had Carpal Tunnel and Antecubital Tunnel surgery on my left arm on March 9, 2018. Approximately 2 weeks later, my wife noticed blood-tinged drainage from the elbow area, looked at my elbow, said the incision on the elbow opened up, and immediately took me to TCO’s Urgent Care in Waconia, MN. Ben-PA-C took a picture of the incision, sent it to Dr. Marek, who was out of town. I was stitched up and sent home with an antibiotic.
When I saw Dr. Marek and Ryan, PA-C for follow up, I was told they changed how they stitch up the elbow because of that incident. Dr. Marek cares about his patients, how the incision looks, and every aspect of the procedure from beginning through to the end. My wife broke her wrist and had surgery, I had Carpal Tunnel and Antecubital Tunnel surgery on my right arm, my wife had Carpal Tunnel on her right wrist, and is scheduled for Carpal Tunnel on her left wrist. Dr. Marek and his team did all of the surgeries with good outcomes! We would recommend him and his team to anyone.

March 13, 2019

Bonnie E.

I have been a bowler all of my adult life. When my knees became too painful, my scoring suffered and I made adaptions to the way I bowled. I had surgery on my first knee, which didn’t change too much. Then the second knee made a big difference. I’m slowly getting back to where I was. It’s no longer embarrassing to bowl because my average has gradually crept back up. Thank you Dr. Meyer.

March 8, 2019

Phil C.

I am writing this short story about my suffering with different kinds of pain in my hand and wrist and my unbelievable recovery process. For many years I have had pain in my wrist for the type of work I performed with the use of my hands. Back in February of 2015, I discussed this problem with my personal physician and he had me do different exercises and wear a hand brace. The pain was not going away so I made an appointment in December to see Dr. Clare McCarthy at Twin Cities Orthopedics. From that day forward we came up with a plan of action to regulate the treatment of the pain in my hand and wrist.

After taking an X-ray of both of my wrists and showing me the problem areas that were causing some of the pain, we decided the first step is to perform Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel on both wrists. My left wrist surgery was scheduled for January 15, 2016 and the right one on February 5, 2016. Both surgeries and recoveries were a success There is no numbness, stiffness, and pain in my fingers. I have full control on my motion and straight in both wrists. The second step to recovery was to get control over the arthritic pain on the lower part of my thumbs. This was caused from repetitive use of my hand in the type of work I performed in the past. Pain typically occured during/after gripping and pinching activities; such as turning doorknobs, buttoning clothes, tying shoes, loosening a jar lid and so on. After going through different medication, hand splints, and cortisone injections, my thumbs got worse. The treatments were no longer working or providing me with relief.

Dr. Clare McCarthy, her PA Claire Joubert, and I discussed the next solution. We all agreed on Thumb CMC (carpal-metacarpal) Joint Osteoarthritis and CMC Excisional Arthroplasty with Fascia Lata Graf, which means removing the arthritic bone (trapezium) and replacing it with a soft tissue graft. On February 27, 2019, Dr. Clare McCarthy and her PA, Claire Joubert, performed the above surgery to my right hand. Clair Joubert, PA did the closing, which was absolutely perfect. After surgery, the ecovery was long. I was in a cast for 4 weeks to prevent me from pinching. After getting the cast removed I started thumb and wrist exercises to strengthen hand. My PT for 3 weeks was Kimberly McClintick and she was great. My theory behind getting my strength back was no pain, no gain. I have been doing very well without any pain and will be playing my first game of golf since the surgery on May 4th!!

In closing here are a couple of statements that my father told me: No matter who you are, no matter where you come from you are beautiful. I believe there’s an inner power that makes winners. The winners are the ones who really listen to the truth of their hearts. This is what I think of the people that helped me through this ordeal. Thank you all!

March 8, 2019

Mark M.

I am very thankful that I received such outstanding care from Dr. Gesensway at Twin Cities Orthopedics. He is a true professional and a superior surgeon. My healing has come along so much quicker than expected due to his skills. I have never fractured a wrist before (Colles fracture) but from the minute I walked in the door and met Dr. Gesensway, I suspected I was in for a good experience. I was by no means disappointed in any of the initial or follow-up care he and his team provided. Many thanks to David, Julia, Laura, and many others with whom I have had the pleasure to interact as a result of the bad fall I took on the ice. Thanks to all of you!

March 6, 2019

Sara B.

Having on and off left hand/wrist pain for a while, I just brushed it off to my occasional aches and pains I get from having Lupus (an autoimmune disorder). It had gotten so bad, I had sucked it up and went to TCO Urgent Care. They were amazing at helping. They did xrays and sent me to physical therapy but, like everything else in my life, they found nothing. A good month passed, the pain got worse and then got better. But one day it was so bad I was in tears. I messaged Jenna, his care coordinator, to see when I could get into see Dr. Bakker next, she got me in right away. He assessed me and relooked at my images but knew something was not right.

Had an MRI a few days later and then received a call from Dr. Bakker himself. I ended up seeing him for follow up appointment, where he informed me that I, in fact, had some rare issue with my scaphoid bone and the loss or the stop of blood flow, possibly due to Lupus. we went over all possible issues and outcomes. I tried to get him to amputate (jokingly) because I was in so much pain. He assured me that we could do something but was very doubtful it would work. He scheduled surgery at the new Edina Orthopedic Surgery Center and the team was wonderful. Dr. Bakker had informed me and my family that he was unsure that the bone graph would take because of how hard (dead) the bone was. But he had hope! I am 3 months post-op and have little to no pain and blood flow back to the bone. Jenna had to put up with many questions and tears from me, yet she always was so kind and helpful. And Dr. Bakker, well he is pretty amazing. Even though he wouldn’t amputate (haha), he put up with me and my weird issue and gave me hope. I could not thank them enough!

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As the largest orthopedic physician group in the Midwest, and one of the largest in the country, you are sure to find a clinic that best meets your needs.

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