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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 17, 2019

Julie G.

I suffered my injury last summer on a vacation weekend to the Upper Pennisula. We were visiting family and enjoying a little “heaven on earth”, as my brother lives on a beautiful piece of property right on the shores of Lake Michigan / Big Bay De Noc. Early on the Sunday morning we planned to head for home, I decided I wanted to swim one last time in the lake. It had been such a pleasant, enjoyable day in the water the day before, so I just wanted that one last swim. The lake bottom is really rocky and you have to pick your way carefully in before you get out to sandy bottom. I never got out that far. I was wearing water shoes and thought I was being cautious enough, but before I knew even what happened, I was down in the water and instantly felt excruciating pain in my left wrist. As I recovered from the initial shock and tried to sort out what had happened, I picked my left arm up. I remember looking at it and seeing how oddly deformed it was, the pain registering in my brain and realizing that “something ain’t right here.” I had to crawl back in to shore, on my knees and using my elbows. Let’s just say that my entourage and I packed up our stuff and headed back for home a little earlier than we had planned. I decided that I would wait until I got back home and to a healthcare facility I was comfortable with. That was a loooonnnnngggg 6 hour car ride back home.

Now, enter TCO. When we got back to my hometown of Stillwater, MN, I went immediately to the ER at Lakeview Hospital. I was informed that, indeed, I had broken bones and suffered a “Colles” fracture of the wrist; a common injury that occurs when you extend your arm to break your fall. The ER doctor did the best he could for me that day and then gave me the referral to TCO. He informed me that I might need surgery to repair my wrist if TCO thought they couldn’t reset the bones properly. I was scared. I had never broken any bones before and to think I might need surgery? Yes, I was frightened at the thought and whether or not I would regain complete function of my hand and wrist again.

I was fortunate to get into TCO within a week of my injury and saw Dr. Ryan Karlstad. He specializes in the hand and wrist. He immediately put me at ease, he was so kind and soft spoken and yet honest. He gave me a few options and surgery was a definate part of any of the options. Of course he had to inform me of the risks of surgery and the possibilities of not recovering full mobility or function of my hand and wrist afterwards. I opted to have him do an ORIF (open reduction and internal fixation) using a plate and screws. He informed me this would be the optimal route to go for best and long lasting positive results. Within a week of my injury, I was in the High Pointe surgical suites getting my fracture repaired!

I started occupational therapy very soon after with Bonnie VanDeMark OTR/L, CHT. I loved Bonnie. She is about the same age as me and shared the same sense of humor as me. I related so well to her that I actually enjoyed going to my sessions with her. I was almost sad when we were all done! Aside from her having a such a wonderful personality, she really knows her stuff! She gave me new and progressive exercises each time I saw her and measured my progress every time. Now, I am a really good patient, too, and always did my exercises religiously since I obviously wanted to get back to “normal” mobility and activity. I had to do my part.

I enjoy walking, hiking, yoga, Pilates, and my newest and latest passion, pickleball. You don’t realize until you can’t do things, how frustrating it is to have to require help to make a bed, fold clothes, put on a shirt, open a jar, or carry a laundry basket downstairs. Nope, I was going to do everything in my power to recover completely because I am fiercely independent (and am quite particular in how things ought to be done, my family will tell you I am a little OCD that way).

Even with my fractured wrist, though, and splint on, I went to my 3 x week Pilates classes faithfully. And there was no reason not to continue my daily walks, I didn’t break a leg, after all. I figured I would do as much as I could physically without the use of one arm, as there was no reason not to, right? I remember my Pilates instructor and the usual Pilates groupies marveling at my one armed planks, three point push ups, and “off balance” roll downs. Within a few short weeks, I was doing full planks, pushups and weight bearing yoga and Pilates exercises with no pain. That’s incredible and I just can’t believe that I am “back to normal” activity and mobility again, pain free!

I thank the huge role my caregivers and therapist from TCO did for me in this whole recovery process. I would probably not be considered a success otherwise. I guess my point also would be to emphasize to not count yourself out. Be in the mindset that if you do all that is requested of you from your TCO care team, you too, can be a successful “Comeback Story” like this 60 year old, retired, ordinary Grandma… ME! Thank you TCO!

April 12, 2019

Theodore S.

I just wanted to take a moment to let anyone interested in hand surgery to consult with Dr. Amy Moeller at Twin Cities Orthopedics (TCO). I, and my family, have had to utilize TCO on a number of occasions, and then recently I required surgery on my hand. Dr. Amy Moeller was recommended to me, and subsequently, she performed very successful surgery on my hand. I cannot speak highly enough about her abilities, as well as the attitude and performance of her team – from greeting/scheduling, to surgical environment, to the surgery itself and after-care. And I would have to emphasize her “bedside manner” – Dr. Moeller is outstanding in listening, understanding and relating. I have in the past done some consulting concerning operating room environments and safety – and hers was exemplary. Should anyone reading this need hand surgery, Dr. Moeller is the finest.

April 8, 2019

Janelle N.

As a therapist myself, it was hard to become a patient suddently. But after recreational softball caused me to have several orthpedic injuries in a matter of years (2007 and 2009), I was fully thrown into the role of patient. My first injury was a fractured ulna from a softball that hit the arm I was using to get off the ground after a slide. When Dr. Meyer presented the options of being casted for 8 weeks (with the possibility of still needing surgery) or surgery, I chose to have ORIF surgery so I could be back to work in two days. He helped me get into therapy that Friday for a splint so I could continue my memorial day camping plans and then I was back at work the following Monday (yes with a splint and lifting restrictions)!


I was able to resume softball by August and had a full return of strength and function within 6 months. It was wonderful! Unfortunately, 2 years later at the end of the recreational softball season during the Championship game, a close call at second base caused me to have to lunge back to the base and onto the glove the the short stop execuring a diving tag. I stepped on his glove which was going perpendicular to my direction and felt an instant pop and twist of my knee. Again, as a therapist myself, I knew immediately that I now too had become a knee patient. I didn’t know how severe it was at the time, but I knew it wasn’t great. I got a knee brace and, a few days after this injury, my knee completely gave out on me while getting out of my car and I fell onto the concrete and tragically dislocated my elbow. This would all be tragic enough, had this also not been a week before my wedding. As my husband and I met playing softball, the plan was to play softball at our wedding. Now I have a torn up knee and an elbow that is black and blue from wrist to armpit.


I saw Dr. Meyer for follow up on the elbow and he referred me to Dr. Knowlan and an MRI of the knee. I was able to get through my wedding without crutches and a beautiful knee brace under my wedding dress! I was able to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at our wedding and then pose for some pictures with the teams and ‘batting’ before I excused myself from play. It made for great pictures! The MRI returned and it was a torn ACL, MCL, frayed meniscus, bone chips off the tibia, sprained fibular collateral ligament and surgery would be recommended. I went on my honeymoon with a hinged knee brace and a hinged elbow brace.


Spring of the next year I decided to have the ACL repaired. In the years since the surgeries I returned to playing softball, to prove to myself that I didn’t have a ‘career ending’ injury. In an attempt to take up a safer sport that wouldn’t require so much time off work if injrued, we took up golf and now only sub on softball leagues. In the recent years, I have started running and have run several 5K races and am pleased to report that on the most recent one on April 7th, Goldy’s Run, I had zero knee pain! NONE! On another note, I just got asked to sub on a softball team and am actually considering it despite my bad luck with injuries. This wouldn’t be an option to consider were it not for my wonderful surgeons that put me back together!

April 6, 2019

Ruth P.

I am an avid golfer. I am not saying that I am good (so don’t look for me on the LPGA tour) but I love the game!! I noticed my hands in particular my thumb (carpometacarpal) joints started to bother me. Hanging onto my driver to hit my ball would cause intense pain in my CMC joints. Usually by the tenth hole, I could no longer grip my clubs to achieve the results I wanted. Besides golf issues, turning door knobs or opening jars became painful as well. I met Dr. McCarthy years before when she fixed my wrist fracture, so I decided to see her for the thumb joint issues. She did cortisone injections and prescribed splints.

Finally we reached the point where surgery would be the only option. I had carpometacarpal arthroplasty on my left thumb joint. The results where fabulous. No longer did I have pain in my left hand but the right one also got some relief and no longer needed surgery. When I say the results where fabulous, it’s an understatement. I went back to golfing and scored my first hole-in-one, which I won’t contribute to my golfing skills but will give credit to Dr. McCarthy. I scored my second hole-in-one the next year!!

April 4, 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. 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 my specific case. Dr. Marek cares about his patient, 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.

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.


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


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.

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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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