Straight from the Surgeon: Thoughts from Michael Murphy, Orthopedic Sports Medicine Physician


In his short video, Dr. Murphy—who has been with St. Cloud Orthopedics for 16 years—talks about the patient’s advantage of being seen here at our clinic (like being able to start treatment shortly after identifying the cause of pain). And in his interview below, he describes what patients can expect from his care, and shares his favorite things about working at our clinic and within the community as a team physician for St. Cloud State University and Sartell High School.

1) For someone who needs sports medicine care, what common symptoms or conditions would they experience? 

The two most common complaints I encounter are pain in the knee while walking and shoulder pain while reaching.

2) What’s the first thing you’d do for them when they come in?

Listen to the history of how their symptoms presented and then examine the area that is symptomatic.

3) Surgery vs Non-operative care – how do you decide what’s best for the patient?

That decision is based on multiple factors in each patient. The diagnosis is the primary deciding factor, since certain injuries respond better to surgery than others. Other factors considered are the length of symptoms, severity of the symptoms, and the age of the patient.

4) Who else within the clinic might your patients interact with?

All of our patients are initially interviewed by our nursing staff. Many will require x-rays and interact with our radiography technicians. After meeting with the physician or a physician assistant, they may be referred to physical therapy. There they will be treated by our licensed physical therapists to attempt to enhance their recovery.

5) What’s one specific advantage St. Cloud Orthopedics can offer sports medicine patients?

Our sports medicine team offers complete comprehensive care. Our athletic trainers and doctors are on the field to evaluate the initial injury. The patient often can be seen the next day for evaluation. Imaging can often be done right in our office. If bracing or casting is needed, it will be done immediately. Our surgical facilities have all the latest arthroscopic equipment available to complete complex repairs through tiny incisions. Finally, the patients can complete the rehabilitation next door at our modern physical therapy facility.

6) Your favorite thing about working at St. Cloud Orthopedics?

I enjoy being out in the community volunteering at athletic events, offering on-the-field evaluations of injured athletes in order to help keep them healthy and active.

7) What measures do you take to ensure the most optimal recovery experience for patients?

I obtained and maintained the training to be board-certified in orthopedic surgery and orthopedic sports medicine. This means acquiring the latest techniques in hip, knee, and shoulder arthroscopic reconstruction. I use that experience to help patients recover as expediently as possible.

8) Can you recall a particularly rewarding experience as a sports medicine surgeon? 

I had the opportunity to care for an athlete who tore multiple ligaments in a knee a few years ago. I repaired those for him and he has recovered well. I have been able to watch him compete at events for the last few years since then at a high level.

9) Number 1 tip for keeping your bones strong and healthy?

To keep your knees healthy, an individual should walk or bike at least four days per week for 30 minutes.

Dr. Murphy is board certified in Orthopedic Surgery and Orthopedic Sports Medicine, and is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery and the Arthroscopy Association of North America. He joined St. Cloud Orthopedics in 2000.