Summit Orthopedics is delighted to welcome sports medicine surgeon and shoulder expert Michael Freehill, M.D., to the Summit family.
Summit Orthopedics is delighted to welcome sports medicine surgeon and shoulder expert Michael Freehill, M.D., to the Summit family. Repeatedly named to Mpls.St. Paul Magazine’s Top Doctors list, Dr. Freehill is a nationally recognized speaker, researcher, and surgeon. He spent the first 20 years of his professional career on the Abbott Northwestern campus as a partner in the Sports and Orthopedic Surgeons group. As part of Summit, he will practice out of the Plymouth and Eagan clinic locations.
Dr. Michael Freehill’s background
Anatomy and biomechanics always interested Dr. Freehill, and he initially intended to pursue a career as a physical therapist before considering medical school during his junior year in college. After completing an undergraduate degree in kinesiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Freehill earned his medical degree from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago.
“I was very fortunate to have great mentors during my undergraduate and medical education,” Dr. Freehill said. “I became very interested in orthopedics during the rotations that I did, and I had some mentors who were shoulder surgeons, which influenced me to specialize in shoulder surgery.”
After completing his residency training in orthopedic surgery at Loyola University Medical Center, Dr. Freehill went on to pursue a shoulder, elbow, and sports medicine fellowship at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. The shoulder joint interested him because of its complexity.
“There are so many interconnections in the shoulder; it has unique capabilities compared to those of other joints in the body,” he said. “When something goes awry in a person’s shoulder, it can be challenging to figure out what is wrong and come up with solutions for pain relief. That’s what keeps me engaged.”
Dr. Freehill also enjoys shoulder surgery because he treats a broad spectrum of patients ranging from age 12 to 100-plus. The specialty also lends itself to advanced surgical technologies and techniques, which continue to evolve over time.
His particular areas of expertise include minimally invasive shoulder surgery (arthroscopic surgery) using tiny incisions and tools. He also specializes in major shoulder joint reconstructions for patients with severe arthritis, anatomical problems, or fractures. “We can introduce a new shoulder that is life-changing for the patient. It’s rewarding to be able to do those things for people.”
Dr. Michael Freehill’s practice philosophy
His practice philosophy is compassionate and patient-centered. “Patients often ask, ‘if I were your family member, what would you recommend for me?’ My response is that I treat every patient like a family member. I will only recommend something that I know in my heart is right for them,” he said.
He also works with patients and their support systems to consider treatment recommendations in the context of the patient’s work and family life. “I am always trying to look at the patient’s perspective, so that I can understand how the recommendations I make can affect their lives,” Dr. Freehill said.
While Dr. Freehill enjoys surgery’s technical challenges, it’s what happens afterward that brings him the most satisfaction. “Seeing a patient a few months later, after I’ve done a significant surgery (or a nonsurgical treatment plan) coming in so much better than they were — that is incredibly fulfilling,” he said. “I’ve helped somebody achieve something that they didn’t think they could achieve.”
Outside of work, Dr. Freehill enjoys traveling with family, trying new recipes, brewing beer, playing golf, and learning to play the guitar.
Summit Orthopedics offers comprehensive sports medicine expertise
From Olympians to pro athletes to kids in youth sports and those that just want to be more active—Summit Orthopedics delivers expert care by fellowship-trained sports medicine physicians. If you are recently injured or concerned about ongoing pain, Summit Orthopedics sports medicine specialists have the expertise to evaluate your discomfort and develop a plan to quickly and safely help you get back to being active.
Start your journey to stronger, healthier athletic condition. Find your sports medicine expert, schedule an appointment online, or call us at (651) 968–5201 to schedule a sports medicine consultation.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Plymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as several additional community clinics.