Physical Therapy in South Dakota: Meet Adam Halseth

Physical Therapy in South Dakota: Meet Adam Halseth

We’re giving you a peek into what makes Orthopedic Institute (OI) tick by shedding some light on our best and brightest.

Today’s featured team member is Adam Halseth, one of our physical therapists (PT). Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota and earned his doctorate from Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences. He additionally is certified by the Titleist Performance Institute and provides golf medicine services to OI patients.

Let’s take a deeper dive into what motivates Adam and keeps him passionate about treating patients at OI.

How did you decide to become a PT?

I decided to become a PT after my competitive athletic journey came to an end. I had a fascination with health, fitness and medicine. I quickly learned that physical therapy encompasses each of these aspects and found that it was a perfect job for me.

What led you to join the OI team?

Growing up in Sioux Falls and being around those who were injured, I always knew of the high reputation OI had. My family and I decided to move back to Sioux Falls from the Twin Cities. I always thought of OI as the standard for sports medicine in Sioux Falls, which is why I actively pursued a career here. They also gave me an opportunity to continue my passion and develop a golf program I started in the Twin Cities.

What is your favorite part of your job?

So far, the best part of my job is the support I have had in developing our golf medicine program. The facilities and support I have access to have been the best of my career thus far. Also, the interaction I  have with physicians is excellent, as I can give my patients the best possible care.  If I have any questions, I can walk down the hallway and speak with the physician about ongoing treatment and plans.

What are the strengths of OI’s PT team?

The knowledge and experience of the staff is incredible. I learn every day I am at work just from watching and interacting with colleagues.

What is the best part about working with patients?

I enjoy getting to know the patients and building relationships. I feel when doing this, I gain their trust, they know I am a professional, and it allows for a better recovery. I also, obviously, love the end result of PT. I know how hard they worked in PT and seeing them return back to their sport or other activities they love is very rewarding.

If you could tell every patient one thing before they came in, what would it be?

Our job is not to cause pain. Everyone has this idea that PT will be very painful; however, this is not the case. There are times when it is uncomfortable, but I try to always keep discomfort very limited. Also, if you truly want to get better and quickly, you have to do your exercises at home!

What is your career highlight?

My career is still in its infancy. But one thing I did while working in the Twin Cities was create and instruct a golf fitness class at Hazeltine National in Chaska, Minn. Because of this, I had the opportunity to play at Hazeltine two months before the Ryder Cup, which was an incredible experience.

How do you spend your time when you’re not at OI?

I spend as much time as I can with my wife and two-and-a-half-year-old son. When not doing this, I try to golf as much as I can during the nicer months. I tell my wife that “golf is part of my job” now, which is my excuse to play a little more often!

What is your ideal way to spend your birthday?

I have a winter birthday, so I can’t do much outdoors. I like to keep it simple, ordering dinner in and watching a movie after we put our son to bed sounds like a perfect night.

Get to know more about the PT team at OI here.

Senior Health: When Injuries Are Serious Enough for an Orthopedic Visit

Senior Health: When Injuries Are Serious Enough for an Orthopedic Visit

Injuries can be difficult to evaluate if you’re not a trained professional. Especially if symptoms don’t start to act up until well after the injury occurred. So how can you tell if your injury needs to be examined by an orthopedic specialist?

Here are some signs for seniors to watch for after an injury.

Foot or Ankle Injuries

Did you twist your ankle stepping off a curb or drop a heavy box on your foot? If you notice swelling that doesn’t go away or pain when you place weight on the injured limb, you might require a visit to our clinic or to a foot specialist on the Orthopedic Institute (OI) team, such as Dr. Watson.

You definitely need to get checked out upon difficulty walking or if you can’t manage to move more than a few feet.

OI actually offers walk-in hours for immediate check-ups, weekdays from 3-7 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. You can also make an appointment online here.

Ligament Injuries

Consistent pain isn’t the only indicator for a visit to the orthopedist. A torn ACL doesn’t always result in pain but certainly warrants a clinic trip. If your knees feel strange turning corners or they feel unstable, these are signs you need to see a health professional. Torn cartilage and ligaments can also cause problems by causing joints to stick or outright lock up.

Just like for foot or ankle injuries, OI can check out the effects of a ligament injury during walk-in hours, weekdays from 3-7 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., or by setting up an appointment online here.

Muscle Injuries

Muscle pulls, also known as strains, are common. It’s also common, when lifting weights, to experience some minor soreness that dissipates within a day or two.  However, severe tears can require surgery to piece the muscle tissue back together. A strain of this nature can sometimes be associated with a weakness sensation or inability to use the associated muscle or tendons.

Our specialists at OI can complete a series of orthopedic tests on areas of pain in order to pinpoint any possible tears. If more information is needed, an MRI can diagnose the tear’s severity.

Wear and Tear

Over time, areas such as the knees, ankles, shoulders and other parts that see a lot of use, can start to act up. Inflammation in joints can get worse, causing pain and stiffness. When arthritis sets in, it can cause many daily activities to become painful chores. Consistent joint swelling, tenderness and restricted range of movement can be signs of arthritis. Check out our blog on alternative therapies for more on possible treatments.

Time for a Visit

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms and have a concern, it’s never a bad idea to get checked out by an orthopedic specialist. Your health is important to the team here at OI. We can set you up with the right treatment plan to help you recover and once again get your body back in motion.

10 Questions with Dr. K.C. Chang

10 Questions with Dr. K.C. Chang

We’re diving into getting to know the team at Orthopedic Institute (OI), introducing you to some of our illustrious team members.

Today’s featured team member is Dr. K.C. Chang, one of our physicians. Dr. Chang graduated from Florida State University before attending medical school at University of Florida. With 25-plus years of experience treating neck and back pain in orthopedic patients, he’s an incredibly valuable part of the staff.

Let’s take a deeper dive into what Dr. Chang loves most about his work and how he approaches his work at OI.

1. How did you decide to become a physician?

I think I decided to be a physician when I was really young – around six years old. I remember being at the clinic with my dad in Malaysia. I had been riding my bike, and it started to rain. I was close to the clinic, so I went there. Suddenly this guy came in carrying someone who is bleeding everywhere from his head down – he’d been in a car accident. My dad was able to perform suturing and control the bleeding. I realized, “Wow, that was amazing. I want to be a doctor.” From then on, I never questioned what I was going to do. It is a rewarding and noble profession.

2. What led you to join OI?

I was in Orlando, Fla., practicing with 12 other orthopedic surgeons for about 10 years. I was pretty happy with what I was doing, but the group had ran into some difficulties and the group was slowly dissolving. I decided I needed someplace different to work. My brother-in-law let me know that Orthopedic Institute was looking for a muscular skeletal specialist. So I interviewed and loved it here. That was in 2001. I just love it.

3. What is your favorite part of your job?

The best part of my job is to be able to help people control their pain without surgery. I try to control pain by providing them with different ways to treat it – acupuncture, injections, epidural injections, physical therapy. I am so happy when the patient feels better, and I can end some of their pain and suffering.

4. What are the strengths of the OI physician team?

We are all well-trained. We are all experts in each of our subspecialties. We have a comprehensive offering of all types of care from very conservative to the intricate work of specialized surgeries. Our doctors care about the patient – we have compassion for our patients, and they realize that.

5. What is the best part about working with patients?

The best part of working with patients is when they come in with pain and then are so grateful after the treatment you provide and how much relief you give them. To me, that is the best. When you know you did something to help them – it is so gratifying.

6. What would you consider your career highlight?

Joining Orthopedic Institute back in 2001 was the highlight of my career. I really like it here. My son Michael was one year old at the time. He was the youngest, and, even though he was born in Orlando, all he knows is South Dakota. A few months ago he asked me, “Dad, are you going to sell the house when you retire?” I told him “Maybe, I don’t know.” So he said, “Well if you don’t sell the house, can you give it to me? Because I love Sioux Falls!” My other kids say, “I want to go somewhere warm.” But Michael – I take him to New York, and he hates it. He always wants to come back to Sioux Falls!

7. How do you spend your time when you’re not at OI?

I like tennis, so I play singles on Mondays and doubles on Tuesdays. I was actually the No. 1 player on my high school tennis team in Florida. Right now, I am not that good, but I love to exercise! I like to read books and watch movies and travel.

8. What was the last book you read?

The Book of Joy by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama. It’s an interesting book about how to find happiness and identify the meaning of joy. I enjoy reading non-fiction.

9. What is your go-to movie snack?

I like action movies. And I like the popcorn at the movies, but my wife does not. She thinks it is too salty, so when we go, she say’s “No butter, no salt.” Then we have to get a small box and not a medium one. (You have to make your wife happy.)

10. If you could have dinner with one person living or dead, who would it be?

Gandhi I think is one person I would like to meet and talk about how he got into this non-violent thing and how he helped people. And Martin Luther King and JFK – those three people who influenced the world and changed the world for the better.

The Physical Effects of Training on Your Body

The Physical Effects of Training on Your Body

You can feel it every time you engage in physical activity. Something is happening, physiologically speaking, when you train or work out. But what exactly is it doing, and what are the positive effects of the visual effects of change in breath patterns, muscle fatigue or a pounding heartbeat?

Here are some of the physical effects your body undergoes when you’re training.

Joints & Bones

If bone density is a priority for you (it starts to decrease once you reach your maximum in early adulthood) training can actually have a positive effect on your joints and bones. Inactivity is the quickest route to brittle bones – weight-bearing exercise helps build up your bone mass and staves off bone disease and weakness of joints.


So you’ve heard the phrase “get your blood pumping” when it comes to exercise, but what does that even mean? Well, when you’re working out or training, your bloodflow is redirected to the most pressing areas of need, namely muscles, where the increase of oxygen and decrease of waste and acid buildup improves flow efficiency in the long-term.

Brain Function

One of the bonuses of improved bloodflow is improved brain function – exercise and fitness actually has positive physical effects on your brain power. You might notice your ability to focus and recall facts is improved immediately following a workout. It’s a direct result of improved bloodflow.


Bloodflow is pretty much a wash without the heart, another element of the body that undergoes distinct physiological effects during training. With frequent physical activity, your heart becomes better over time at pumping more blood to the most effective locations in the body. This means a more efficient distribution of blood with a lower heart rate, something virtually impossible in a body devoid of frequent exercise.

Lung Capacity

The fact of the matter is, when you’re working out, you’re pushing your lungs to their maximum breathing capacity – often requiring as much as 15 times as much oxygen than when you’re sitting still. There’s a reason this has positive long-term effects. Each time you reach your maximum oxygen intake you’re building up the level at which it normally rests. The more you exercise, the more this level increases and improves your fitness.


When your muscles are in action, they require more oxygen and blood vessels expand to allow this intake. And the more they’re used, the more nutrients are delivered, spurring growth and ability. The process of working out delivers the right hormones and other elements to your muscular system to improve your athletic prowess over time.

Anterior Approach to Hip Surgery

Orthopedic Update: Anterior Approach Hip Replacement Surgery

The anterior approach to total hip replacement has emerged as a practical alternative to the posterior approach that most surgeons still use. Although it has been in use to some degree since the 1980s, new instrumentation allowing it to be performed using smaller incisions has made it increasingly sought after.

Called the anterior hip replacement, this procedure involves the surgeon making a four-inch incision through the front of the leg, rather than the back (the entry point for the more conventional posterior hip replacement surgery). Frontal entry makes it possible to reach the joint by separating the muscles rather than cutting through them and reattaching them (used in the posterior approach). By keeping the muscles intact, the Anterior Approach may allow for less pain, faster recovery, quicker stability and fewer post-operative restrictions.

Although each patient responds differently, studies have shown the potential benefits of the Anterior Approach.

  • Accelerated recovery time is possible because key muscles are not detached during the operation.
  • Potential for fewer restrictions during recovery. This procedure seeks to help patients more freely bend their hip and bear their full weight immediately or soon after surgery.
  • Possible reduced scarring because the technique allows for one relatively small incision. Since the incision is on the front side of the leg, you may be spared from the pain of sitting on scar tissue.
  • Potential for stability of the implant sooner after surgery, resulting in part from the fact that they key muscles and tissues are not being disturbed during the operation.
  • The Anterior Approach requires less tissue disruption, which may lead to faster rehabilitation.

We have four physicians at Orthopedic Institute who perform the Anterior Approach to hip replacement.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Adler, McKenzie, Rothrock or Suga, please call 1-888-331-5890.

Michael J. Adler, MD

Matthew J. McKenzie, MD

Corey P. Rothrock, MD

Please check out this short video on the Anterior Approach to hip replacement.

4 Alternative Treatments That Our Doctors Love

4 Alternative Treatments Our Doctors Love

Monitoring and managing your orthopedic health can sometimes make you feel helpless. After all, once you leave the doctor’s office, what can you do for yourself?

As it turns out, there are a variety of alternative treatments you can try out at home (or right here in our offices on your next visit) that may give you a more natural boost to your overall – and orthopedic – health.


One such alternative treatment the doctors at Orthopedic Institute are big-time believers in is acupuncture. We’re so on board with it as a pain-management therapy that our very own Dr. Chang specializes in and administers it at our clinic. The benefits of acupuncture are plentiful, as it stimulates “meridians,” a.k.a. energy pathways, that modulate your neurology. It’s proven effective for treatment of illnesses such as restless leg syndrome, nausea and chronic pain or headaches.


Originating as a root vegetable, turmeric can be used in a nutritional sense in foods, mostly as seasoning in powdered or ground form. But it turns out it has a great deal of beneficial properties for your overall health, as well. Because of its natural oils, it has a positive effect in fighting inflammation at the joints and can ease the pain surrounding cramping, aches and pains. As far as natural anti-inflammatories go, it’s a top-notch option for those seeking alternative treatments.

Manuka Honey

Sourced from the nectar of plants found most commonly in the Southern Hemisphere, Manuka honey is sometimes used in foods but, like turmeric, can have highly positive effects on your wellbeing. Because of higher levels of enzymes than traditional honey, Manuka has a pain-relief factor when it comes to burns, wounds and ulcers, as well as the ability to assist in rebuilding cells and tissue following an infection.


This is probably one that’s familiar to you already, but yoga continues to be one of the best, easiest ways to ease joint pain and build overall wellness. The practice has been known to limber your body to stave off injury and improve your musculature and balance. And this goes without saying, but it improves your flexibility, something that can make joint pain in your knees, shoulders and the like subside considerably over time. (And best of all, there are ample opportunities to join a local class or learn yoga from a friend or family member.)

Try it out

If you have questions, talk to one of our doctors next time you stop in—we’d be happy to walk you through your options when it comes to natural, alternative options for easing chronic pain, soreness and injury.

Insider Tips: Exercising Like a Physical Therapist

Insider Tips: Exercising Like a Physical Therapist

When you exercise like the pros do, you save yourself a lot of aches and pains down the road. That’s why taking the advice of a physical therapist on your workout regimen is a smart road to take for keeping your body high-functioning and healthy.

Try out the below tips next time you head to the gym. 

Stretch for Cardio

We all know that stretching before exercise is advised, but it’s particularly important before doing cardio. Why? Well, these types of exercises put your body through a lot, so it’s all the more important to prep beforehand to avoid tightness, soreness or even injury.

When you work out rigorously, the muscles you’re working will experience lactic acid buildup that will tighten them up. Your body creates this lactic acid to route oxygen to your body to fuel your physical activity. This tightness increases the probability you’ll tear something. That’s why stretching before cardio is a good idea – it helps release potential tightness both before and after your workouts.

Work Your Muscles

Beyond stretching, when it comes to safely working your muscles, remember that choosing the right weight or level of resistance is key to keeping from being injured. A good rule of thumb is to select a level that challenges you – even making the last few reps a little difficult or tiring – without choosing a level that totally obliterates you. If the reps feel too easy or too hard, add or remove weights in small increments, like two or three pounds at a time, until you hit your sweet spot.

Keep this regimen going on a regular schedule so your body gets used to your workout routine. And don’t neglect one part of the body in favor of another – combine upper- and lower-body workouts. Keep this up for the long term, and your body will build to more resistance and more weight at a healthy pace.

Detecting an Injury

In the midst of a workout, it can sometimes be difficult to tell when a pain is an injury or just soreness. That’s why it’s important to know the things to check to give yourself a mini-assessment. Start by checking if you felt anything pop or break – injuries are almost always caused by a specific event. Next, check to see if there are any signs of injury, like tenderness or bulging.

Beyond that, it’s all about time and intensity. Has this pain been sustained for a long period of time, and is it moderate, severe or unbearable? These are things you can ask yourself to determine if a visit to your physical therapist is in the cards or if you can prescribe yourself some over-the-counter anti-inflammatories or heating or icing your pain away. 


Keep these tips in mind during your next workout to make sure you’re exercising safely, healthfully and smartly – your physical therapist wants to see you in top form, so make good decisions!

6 Things Every Orthopedic Surgeon Wants You to Know

6 Things Your Orthopedic Doctor Wants You to Know

At Orthopedic Institute, we have seen firsthand that the choices you make in your youth can affect the way your body ages. Our doctors have seen that many of our patients who age most gracefully have adopted common habits that help them maintain their physical, mental, and emotional health.

Check out these 6 tips that your doctor would likely want you to know about how best to approach your orthopedic care.

Take care of yourself

This one goes without saying, but your physician wants you to take the proper precautions with your day-to-day decisions to ensure your overall health stays in top form. Don’t smoke, cut back on unhealthy foods and get moving – cutting out bad habits and getting proper nutrition and exercise will have positive effects on your joint health. 

Maintain a healthy weight

Orthopedic surgeons have seen firsthand what being overweight can do to your joints and bones. Most notably, it can lead to osteoarthritis, or “wear-and-tear arthritis”. Staying at a healthy weight will also decrease your chances of breast cancer and diabetes during your later years. Lastly, it can increase your energy, enhance your mood, and help your body fight off illness. For more information on a weight loss plan our physicians recommend click here.

Build an active social life

Spend time with people you enjoy and who make you feel upbeat. Many of our happiest elderly patients are those who interact or converse with another person at least once every day. Find the strength to be the person who initiates outings such as lunch, days at the park and shopping. Volunteering is a great way to meet people with similar interests while giving back to the community.

Get a good night’s sleep

As adults, it is easy to place sleep at the bottom of the priority list. But this is a huge mistake. Your body needs sleep in order to heal from daily activities. If you’re not sleeping, this is not happening. If you have trouble falling asleep, increase your daytime activity. Develop bedtime rituals such as soaking in a bath, or listening to music to help you relax. Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark and cool. Of course, we now know that lack of sleep can weaken the immune system, increase obesity, and put us at risk of developing diabetes and heart disease, so sleep does matter.

Exercise and stay active

As has been mentioned numerous times above, exercise is one of the most important ways to stay healthy. Exercise can have a profound effect on the brain by helping to prevent memory loss, cognitive decline and dementia. It can often improve your overall mood, as well as help lessen the effects of mental disorders such as anxiety and depression.


Now that you’re in the know, put these tips into action. However, if you have ongoing joint pain, it’s time to contact Orthopedic Institute and get the appointment ball rolling.

What Is Causing My Shoulder Pain?

What Is Causing My Shoulder Pain?

It happens to the best of us. We wake up, get out of bend and wince – “What is that pain in my [insert body part here]?”

When it comes to shoulder pain, there are a variety of causes, depending on your level of physical activity, age and even career.

Rotator cuff injury

You rely on your rotator cuff muscles to keep your shoulders in position and allow you maximum mobility in your upper body. So when the rotator cuff experiences a tear or strain, it can cause a lot of shoulder pain that might manifest itself most often when you’re lifting your arm up or pull on an object. If you’ve experienced a tear in your rotator cuff, surgery might be the answer to repair it, depending on the severity.


Joints as a general rule are prone to bursitis, and shoulders are no different. Bursitis refers to fluid accumulation in the form of sacs in or near your joints. Bursitis may be common, but it isn’t pleasant – it can cause pain, redness and inflammation. These issues typically occur as the result of some sort of bodily injury, so protect your joints when performing physical activity. Bursitis is typically treatable through a course of anti-inflammatories, but surgery and physical therapy may be necessary for long-term afflictions.


If your job or your favorite after-work activities involve a lot of shoulder movement that repeats itself on a frequent basis, your tendons might be reacting to an irritation. Think of a baseball pitcher or tennis player who repeatedly moves his or her shoulder in the same way over and over. Your doctor or physical therapist will likely prescribe an over-the-counter medication, joint rest and hot or cold compresses to treat your tendinitis.

‘Frozen shoulder’

Just like any other join in your body, the shoulder can be prone to inflammation and swelling. In some cases, you may notice you’ve lost much of the mobility in your shoulder, causing “frozen shoulder.” This can be the result of inflammation or other sorts of chemical imbalances. The right course of physical therapy and meds often clears up frozen shoulder. But surgery can sometimes be necessary in severe cases. After a shoulder surgery, including total replacement, frozen shoulder should not occur if you are attending regular physical therapy and performing recommended exercises and treatments at home. 


Whatever your symptoms, Orthopedic Institute can help – set up an appointment with our team today to get to the bottom of your ongoing shoulder pain.

Getting Back in the Game

What do Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Brandi Chastain, Ali Krieger, Heather Mitts and Molly Doetzel have in common?  They are all talented women soccer players who tore an ACL. And all, except Molly, played for the U.S. National Team.

Molly is still in high school and hasn’t achieved recognition on a national stage. But here, in Sioux Falls, she’s a star.

Molly anchored the defense for the O’Gorman’s Lady Knights soccer team that was so dominating that this year they gave up just six goals the entire season. And, no surprise, they won the state championship.

Molly was a big reason for the championship.  Need proof?  Had Molly not been injured, it’s entirely possible O’Gorman could have won last year, too.  It was in the state semi-finals that she tore her ACL, aka anterior cruciate ligament, and the Lady Knights fell short of the state championship.

Molly wanted to get back into action as quickly as possible.  She and her parents wondered who to call.  “Tons of people told us Dr. Looby was the best,” Molly said, referring to Peter A. Looby, an orthopedic surgeon with Orthopedic Institute.

And with good reason. Dr. Looby completed his Fellowship in Sports Medicine at Harvard and, while there, was team orthopedic surgeon for the Bruins (hockey), the Revolution (soccer) and for the New England Patriots.  Looby knows how to help athletes get back in the game.

“One thing striking about NFL quality athletes is their ability to heal,” said Dr. Looby. “They are incredibly motivated. They get injured Sunday, you treat them Monday, they play next Sunday.”

The athlete’s motivation and Dr. Looby’s care got them ready. It was this level of care Dr. Looby   provided to Molly. “I was trained to handle elite athletes,” said Dr. Looby.  “I apply this training to all athletes whether they are training for the pros or they are weekend warriors.”

And so it was with Molly. “Dr. Looby repaired my ACL and helped me quickly regain strength and flexibility,” Molly said. “Everyone told me—and from my own experience—that Dr. Looby is the best of the best.” Something she echoes regarding her experience at Orthopedic Institute, particularly the rehabilitation process, which was led by Brad Pfeifle, VP of Sports Medicine & Rehab Services. According to her coach, Ryan Beier, “We didn’t know if she would be able to come back this season as strong as she had been in the past. She was able to play at full strength, if not even better than before and she didn’t need to wear a brace because of the hard work she did in therapy at Orthopedic Institute and with Brad.”

Although it might seem strange, tearing her ACL turned out to be a great, even life changing, experience for Molly. Consider: where does Molly go from here? Does she want to play at the next level? Qualify for the national team?

No, Molly wants to hit the books. So inspired was she by her experience with Dr. Looby and Orthopedic Institute that she’s now thinking about a career in sports medicine—something that touched Dr. Looby’s heart.

“It’s hard to imagine there could be any higher accolade,” Dr. Looby said.