Sometimes ‘Bad Luck Takes Over’

Orthopedic physicians at SSM Health help patients return to their routine
Dr Patient

There is one piece of advice that orthopedic surgeon James Christensen, M.D., gives to every one of his patients.

“Be good to your body and it should return the favor,” he said.

Christensen, a physician at SSM Health, said the not-for-profit health system does a great job working to keep patients healthy with preventive care, in part by encouraging good lifestyle choices.

But as an avid basketball player and hiker, Christensen knows that sometimes, especially with intense activity, bad luck takes over.

Since finishing his residency at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Christensen has worked at SSM Health in Madison for nearly two years. He specializes in ACL, meniscus, rotator cuff and knee surgery.

His department consists of 17 orthopedic surgeons and five non-operative sports medicine doctors across three different clinics in south central Wisconsin. Although his team is smaller than others in the area, together they employ the most up-to-date technology and current techniques to serve the community, including robotics for knee and hip replacements.

“When that bad luck does come around,” Christensen said, “we in the SSM Health orthopedics department are here to help, both with non-operative treatments and operative treatments, depending on what is best for the patients and their situation.”

From young men to seniors, the next step is getting the patient back to their normal routine, Christensen said. Follow-up appointments combined with an individualized at-home plan are a priority for the SSM Health team.

Regardless of bad luck, or lifestyle, Christensen said that his team prioritizes listening to patients and addressing their concerns.

“It is important that patients feel like they have been heard. Addressing their concerns and combining them with the care we provide helps to arrive at a shared decision on the best course for the problem at hand,” he said.