I tend to be more conservative in my approach, reserving surgery as a last option. In essence, I strive to care for patients and their problems in the same manner my family and I expect to be treated when we seek medical attention.



At Summit, each physician works alongside a team of professionals to care for you, our patient. Read more about our team approach to care.

Managing Arthritis Symptoms: Kristoffer Breien, M.D.

Our patients often ask what options there are to manage arthritis symptoms. The good news is that there are many treatments available to consider, and the vast majority are non-surgical. Listen to Summit Orthopedics’ experts Kristoffer Breien, M.D. and Dane Hansen, D.O. share the insights they’ve gained in their years caring for those struggling with arthritis symptoms.

Dr. Breien’s Approach to Care

“I tend to be more conservative in my approach, reserving surgery as a last option. In essence, I strive to care for patients and their problems in the same manner my family and I expect to be treated when we seek medical attention.”

Consistently voted ‘Top Doctor’

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 four 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.”

Specializing in hip and knee replacements

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.”

Ask Dr. Kristoffer Breien: Joint replacement articles

Get more expert advice and tips from Dr. Kristoffer Breien in these knee replacement related articles:

Advanced fellowship training enhances quality

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.” Get more insights from Dr. Breien in the article: How Is A Failed Knee Implant Treated?

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.”

Undergraduate Studies
Colorado State University — Fort Collins, Colorado

Medical School
Creighton University — Omaha, Nebraska

Creighton-Nebraska University Health Foundation —
Omaha, Nebraska

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Board Certified, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

  • Voted a “Top Doctor” in Mpls.St.Paul Magazine: 2007-2008, 2014, 2016, 2019-2022

Volunteering surgical skills in Honduras at One World Surgery/Holy Family Surgery Center

Running, skiing, golf, travel

Knee Replacement: Quality Information

Patient Education

Knee Animated Conditions and Treatments Library

Hip Animated Conditions and Treatments Library

Carol's Comments

Dr. Breien did both of my knee replacements. Everything went great. I am now pain-free in my knees and can walk 5 miles.

Survey Feedback

Dr. Breien is the best. He has already completed one hip, now on to the next! A good man and an excellent surgeon!

Patient Survey Comment

Dr. Breien and his staff are amazing. I have recommended friends and family suffering from joint pain to Summit and specifically Dr Breien. I will be back to have my other knee replaced specifically with Dr Breien.

Comment from patient satisfaction survey

Dr. Breien and his team are great. Very caring!  The team is willing to go the extra mile on everything.

Comment from patient satisfaction survey

Dr. Breien is fantastic! He is a great listener and explains the situation in a way that makes sense.  He is open to answering questions…and I had a lot!

Comment from patient satisfaction survey

Dr. Breien is one of the easiest doctors to talk with, he is very courteous and respectful, he listens and explains things very well. I feel comfortable and confident with his ability to care for my medical problem.

Articles and Videos from Kristoffer Breien, M.D.