When should I see an orthopedic specialist?

Have you ever seen an orthopedist? Millions of Americans do every year for common ailments like shoulder and knee injuries that can get between them and living their best quality of life.

Kristen Maskala, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at HonorHealth, answers questions about common orthopedic ailments, her treatment philosophy and how—as an active person, herself—she can relate to her patients as she helps them get back to doing the things they love.

Q: When patients come to see you, what are some of the most common conditions they have?

A: Many of my patients have sports-related injuries, which include ligament and cartilage injuries of the knee and shoulder rotator cuff, as well as labral tears. Other common conditions include Achilles and other tendon tears, tendinitis of the knee and elbow and arthritis of the knee.

Q: What areas do you specialize in?

A: I specialize in ACL primary reconstruction and revision surgeries, meniscal repairs, as well as partial knee replacement and TKR. I also have expertise in MACI, which is autologous chondrocyte implantation for knee, along with arthroscopic rotator cuff repair and revision repair.

Q: How do you approach patient care?

A: I base my treatment on my 20 years of experience treating sports-related injuries and arthritis. I offer conservative options with therapy and medication, and I also offer surgical options, as needed.

I underwent major knee reconstruction in both my knees while playing collegiate basketball, and this helps me relate to what patients experience throughout the process of surgery and rehabilitation.

When should I see an orthopedic specialist? Get answers from HonorHealth

Q: What is your treatment philosophy with patients?

A: My philosophy is to treat patients as I would want my family member treated. I always try to tailor a patient’s treatment plan with their goals and preferences in mind.

Q: What is your background prior to joining HonorHealth?

A: I was in practice in Wisconsin for 18 years prior to moving to Arizona. In Wisconsin, I served as team physician for several local high schools and was active in the sports community, coaching youth basketball and organizing sports clinics.

Q: When you’re not helping your patients get back to the activities they love, what do you like to do, yourself?

A: I’ve always led an active lifestyle, and I played collegiate basketball at Marquette. I’m fortunate enough to have my basketball jersey retired there, and I’m honored to be in the Marquette Hall of Fame for athletics. My husband also played football for the Denver Broncos. Our son loves sports, too, and he plays basketball, golf, baseball and football. Together, we enjoy hiking, biking, golfing and swimming.