Introducing Trevor Wahlquist, M.D.
Trevor Wahlquist, M.D., is a fellowship-trained spine specialist who specializes in back and neck surgery in Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota.
Dr. Wahlquist’s Approach to Care
“Ensuring people are living healthy and active lifestyles is important to me. I strive to work together with patients to find non-operative and operative solutions for their pain, getting them back to the activities and the people that matter most to them.”
A graduate degree in nutrition
As a University of Minnesota undergrad, Dr. Wahlquist enjoyed the relational aspects of physical therapy. But the premed academic challenge won him over. After college, he headed to Columbia in New York for a graduate degree in human nutrition. “I grew up on a dairy farm in Baldwin, Wisconsin,” he says. “Health optimization has always been an interest. Proper diet is a vital component in personal health. I was concerned that medical school would offer less nutritional education than I wanted. At Columbia, I did a year of clinical work in nutrition and an additional six months of research. It was a fascinating experience.”
Dr. Wahlquist talks about formative patient experiences
“When I returned to Minnesota for medical school, it was orthopedics all the way,” he laughs. Although he initially planned to pursue a specialty in sports medicine, two patients changed his mind. The first was a farmer who fell from a hay wagon, fracturing his spine. “I grew up on a farm, and immediately identified with this man,” Dr. Wahlquist remembers. “We did a rod and screw construct to stabilize him. The next day, he demanded to be released. He had to get home to milk the cows. It was awesome to realize that orthopedics could make such a difference in a spine injury. Then, a 22-year-old rock climber came in with a back injury after a fall. We were able to get him back to daily activities—though not back to rock climbing—in three or four days. To see such remarkable recoveries after such serious injuries was powerful.
A turning point
“I was in the demands of my residency at that point,” he remembers. “One night, I was talking with my wife about my experience. ‘Every day you come home from the spine rotation, you are excited. Do you realize that?” she asked me. She was right. I stepped back, decided to consider a subspecialty in spine, and never looked back.”
The rewards of spine practice
“I love the spectrum of patients I treat, the complexity of spine conditions, and the variety of surgical procedures,” explains Dr. Wahlquist. “Spine diagnosis involves a unique approach to looking at every single problem. You have to rule out so many different possibilities. Whenever a patient reports radiating pain through the groin or leg, they’ve given me 25 different diagnoses to start to think about. Now I get to start asking questions. That sort of puzzle-solving is incredibly engaging.”
- Find out: What Conditions May Cause Back Pain?
Dr. Wahlquist discusses his favorite aspect of his practice
“Often, I see patients on their worst day,” he reflects. “Pain brings patients into my office, and nerve pain is a uniquely debilitating pain. Lots of people have experienced it for brief moments. The idea that someone is enduring months of terrible pain is pretty horrifying. My practice gives me the tools to address and treat this debilitating pain. It is so gratifying to see my patients return to the activities they love, and to the lifestyle and people that are important to them. That’s what gets me up and going every morning.”
Spine Surgery – Expert resources from Dr. Trevor Wahlquist:
- Discover: What’s the difference between minimally invasive and minimal access surgery?
- Get insights: What Are My Treatment Options For A Herniated Disc?
Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology
University of Minnesota — Minneapolis, MN
Master of Science in Human Nutrition
Columbia University — New York, NY
University of Minnesota School of Medicine — Minneapolis, MN
University of Michigan — Ann Arbor, MI
New England Baptist Hospital — Boston, MA
- Board Eligible: American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
- Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Rising Star recognition: 2022–2023
Dr. Wahlquist enjoys spending time with family, exercising, gardening, and cooking.
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Spine Animated Conditions and Treatments Library
- Cayci C, Wahlquist TC, Seckin SI, Ozcan V, Tekinay AB, Martens TP, Oz MC, Ascherman JA..
Naringenin inhibits neointimal hyperplasia following arterial reconstruction with
interpositional vein graft. Ann Plast Surg. 2010 Jan;64(1):105-13.
- Wahlquist TC, Hunt AF, Braman JP, Acromial Base Fractures following Reverse Total Shoulder
Arthroplasty: Report of Five Cases. J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2011 Oct;20(7):1178-83.
- Schoenfeld AJ, Wahlquist TC, Mortality, complication-risk and total charges following the
treatment of epidural abscess. Spine J. 2015 Feb 1;15(2):249-255.
- Nathani A, Weber AE, Wahlquist TC, Graziano GP, Park P, Patel RD. Delayed presentation of
pharyngeal erosion after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. Case Rep Orthop
- Schoenfeld AJ, Wahlquist TC, Bono CM, Lehrich JL, Power RK, Harris MB. Changes in the care of
patients with cervical spine fractures following health reform in Massachusetts. Injury 2015
- Nowicki PD, Silva S, Toelle L, Strohmeyer G, Wahlquist TC, Li Y, Farley FA, Caird MS. Severity
of Asynchronous Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphyses in Skeletally Immature Versus More Skeletally
Mature Patients. JPO 2015.
- Wahlquist TC, Lee JJ, Brunfeldt A, Burns GT, Patel RD, and Graziano GP. Biomechanical Analysis
of Intervertebral Cement Extravasation in Vertebral Motion Segments. Orthopedics. 2017 Mar
- Wahlquist TC and Patel RD. Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis. Benzel’s Spine Surgery,
Techniques, Complication Avoidance, and Management 4th Edition