Meet Hip And Knee Surgeon Dr. Kristoffer Breien
Selected repeatedly as one of Minnesota’s Top Doctors, Dr. Kristoffer Breien is known for his expertise in treating knee and hip disorders, and for his respectful, down-to-earth bedside manner.
Dr. Kristoffer Breien cultivates trust with his patients; his candid sincerity and surgical skill have earned him a place among Minnesota’s Top Doctors list every year for the last three years. “You have to be honest with your patients,” he explains. “People are more informed than they’ve ever been, and they want to know what to expect—especially if they are considering surgery. Whether I am treating patients with conservative therapies or a surgical procedure, my focus is on delivering superior care, and managing patient expectations by underpromising and overdelivering.”
Dr. Breien estimates that approximately 70 percent of his practice is focused on surgical hip and knee replacements, and about 30 percent on sports medicine issues related to the knee and shoulder. “I treat knee injuries for patients of all ages—from 15-year-olds to people in their 70s and 80s,” he explains. “It used to be that if you tore an ACL or a ligament past the age of 45, you were considered too old to need surgery. Today, people have embraced the idea that they can live an active lifestyle well into their retirement years. I’ve got patients in their 60s and 70s who are living vibrant, energetic lives. If they tear a ligament, I’m going to fix it and help them get back to the lifestyle they enjoy.”
Dr. Breien’s expertise in joint replacements was honed during his arthroplasty fellowship in hip and knee reconstruction. “Fellowships are usually a year long and are specific to a certain facet of orthopedics,” he explains. “Mine was a year of intensive study and surgery encompassing first-time hip and knee replacement, failed hip and knee replacements, and more catastrophic multiple failed replacements. Fellowship study gives you a sense of how a procedure works and also what can go wrong. My training was focused on fixing really difficult cases; it gave me valuable insight into how to do these procedures the right way the first time to avoid complications later.”
If you ask Dr. Breien to identify the favorite part of his job, you won’t get a short answer. “I enjoy seeing patients at their first appointment,” he smiles. “I really enjoy chatting with my patients in clinic and getting to know them—even though the practice of medicine gives me less time to visit socially than I’d like. Operating has always been exciting and rewarding for me. But I especially like seeing my patients after surgery, when they are pain-free and happy to be back to the activities they enjoy.”
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Summit is the first surgery center in the nation to receive spine fusion certification.