Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

Turn to Essentia Health for comprehensive bone, joint, and muscle care that helps you stay active and enjoy the activities you love. Count on our team of orthopedic specialists to pinpoint the source of your aches and pains, explain your treatment options, and get you on the road to recovery. We also have orthopedic subspecialists who have additional training in treating specific areas of the body such as hands and knees.

When to See an Orthopedist

Orthopedists specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating conditions that affect your bones, joint, ligaments, muscles, and tendons – your musculoskeletal system. Call us when you experience:

  • Difficulty standing, walking, or climbing stairs
  • Dislocations or fractures, including hip fractures
  • Overuse injuries, such as tendinitis and bursitis
  • Numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hand
  • Sports- or work-related injuries including torn meniscus
  • Painful, swollen, bruised or stiff joint
  • Sprains, strains, and pulled muscles

Conditions Treated

See the full list of conditions we treat, and select a condition to find providers and locations near you.

Bruised, Sprained, or Broken?

Learn the difference between bruises, sprains, and broken bones and when you should see the doctor. 

Medical Insight: Bruised, Sprained, or Broken?

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The Essentia Health logo, three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health. Medical Insights.

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TRACY BRIGGS: It's happened to many of us.

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A person in hiking boots rolls their ankle

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You miss a step or slip on the ice and end up with a painful twisted ankle.

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Person slips on an icy sidewalk. A woman stands outside in the snow holding her knee and wincing

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But how do you know if it's sprained, bruised, or broken? Dr. Dan Ostlie is an orthopedist specializing in sports medicine at Essentia Health in Fargo.

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Dr. Ostlie looks at an X ray

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He says a bruise happens after a blunt trauma to the area, but a sprain is the result of a stretching or tearing of the ligaments connecting bones.

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A man clutches his knee

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DR. DANIEL OSTLIE: So sprains can range from real simple to very complex. A simple sprain in the ankle we usually like to think is around two weeks to get better. More complex sprains can be weeks, months, and sometimes years where they have chronic instabilities. TRACY BRIGGS:

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A bag of ice on a purple bruised ankle

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For sprains, Doctor Ostlie recommends icing the area for 20 minutes three times a day, wearing a compression bandage, and taking an anti-inflammatory, like ibuprofen, to reduce swelling.

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A splinted arm

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Like sprains, a break can range from minor cracks, which can heal with rest and a splint, to complex fractures requiring surgery. But how do you know when to see the doctor? DR. DANIEL OSTLIE: The amount of pain and the amount of disability can, kind of, drive what you do. So more pain, more disability, I would typically recommend going in. Mild discomfort with pretty good motion and pretty good function, some of those who can do the ice to the range of motion and, kind of, see how it plays out for a couple days. TRACY BRIGGS:

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Tracy Briggs, Essentia Medical Insight host, stands in an emergency room

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Dr. Ostlie says once you do decide you need to see a doctor, you have a choice here at Essentia.

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Gestures to sign, emergency registration

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Come to the emergency room if you have a crooked limb or a bone actually sticking out. But for less severe issues, the orthopedic walk in is available for same day treatment. DR. DANIEL OSTLIE: It's a unique service, because most of the time when you go to an urgent care or walk in, you see someone who is broadly trained. But our orthopedic walking is unique and where we have subspecialty workers in orthopedics and sports medicine that can see you for your orthopedic or sports problem. TRACY BRIGGS: With this Essentia Health Medical Insight, I'm Tracy Briggs.

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The Essentia Health logo appears. Text, Essentia Health, Medical Insights.

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