Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

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Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
Hiker, jogger, tennis player, cyclist, golfer, human being. Feeling good means moving easily through all the activities you love. Count on CHI St. Joseph’s Health Orthopedics for quality bone and joint care to support the active life you want to live. Learn how Orthopedics can help you get back to moving and living pain free! No referral needed, call 218.616.3700.

Sports Medicine

Sports medicine deals with physical fitness and the treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise. Sports medicine is not just for professional athletes. When you injure yourself during exercise or while playing a sport, you want to get back to your routine and athletic pursuits as soon as you can. Our orthopedics and sports medicine team offer surgical and non-surgical options to treat your pain and prevent injuries.

Hip and Knee

CHI St. Joseph’s Health is dedicated to the care of total knee and total hip replacement patients. Our goal is to return patients who have had joint replacement surgery to a more normal, healthy lifestyle as soon as possible through a program of pre- and post-operative education, specialized treatment and active therapy.

Elbow and Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is extremely common and is the third leading cause of orthopedic disability in the United States both in adults and children. There are actually many causes for shoulder pain. There are various traumatic causes like shoulder dislocation and shoulder fractures and tears to the rotator cuff. There are many degenerative conditions such as shoulder arthritis and the shoulder tendons can wear out as well. Elbow pain is caused by overuse injuries, such as lateral epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow) and medial epicondylitis (Golfer’s and Baseball Elbow) and cubital tunnel syndrome.

There are many treatments for shoulder or elbow pain from conservative treatments like physical therapy or medications to joint replacement surgery options. You don’t have to suffer with pain. We have many options available.

Carpal tunnel and trigger finger releases

Trigger finger release is a treatment option for patients with inflammation and swelling around the tendons that bend the finger, a condition known as stenosing tenosynovitis, or “trigger finger.” Trigger finger release is a surgical procedure that involves releasing the opening of the tendon sheath to relieve the constriction of the tendon as it passes though the sheath.

Carpal tunnel release is surgery to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is pain and weakness in the hand that is caused by pressure on the median nerve in the wrist.

Joint injections

If you are having a difficult time finding relief from joint pain from medications or physical therapy, a joint injection may be the solution you’ve been looking for. Joint injections are non-surgical procedures that apply a solution of anesthetic and corticosteroid directly to damaged joint tissue. This can provide you with the relief you need to improve your range of motion and participate in physical therapy exercises that were too difficult for you before.

Joint injections can be applied to any joint: knees, hips, shoulders, wrists, and more. Although not a permanent solution to joint pain, it can provide long-term relief that will last for several months. It is even effective in treating non-curable conditions like arthritis.

Fracture care

When a bone is broken, cracked, or fractured due to overuse or a sudden injury, get expert care to start healing. At CHI ST. Joseph’s Health, our orthopedics team, physical therapists and other specialists have deep experience helping patients recover from all types of fractures. Whether your fracture happened from sports, exercise, an accident or a simple trip and fall, your care team will evaluate your situation, and with your input, recommend the best treatment plan to get you on the road to recovery.

About our providers

Vern Prochaska, MD

Vern Prochaska, MD

Vern Prochaska, MD, joined CHI St. Joseph’s Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Clinic in Park Rapids in January 2019.

Dr. Prochaska provides orthopedic and sports medicine services to CHI St. Joseph’s Health on a full-time basis for inpatient, outpatient, and trauma-related care in Park Rapids. Dr. Prochaska is Board-Certified and has over 20 years of experience. He provides a very broad range of general orthopedic services and he has a special interest in sports medicine.

Dr. Prochaska did his undergraduate, medical school, internship and residency at Creighton University in Omaha, NE. He has served as the team physician for the NBA summer league, College of Southern Nevada, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, West Fargo High School and NDSU.

Tim Meier, PA

Tim Meier, PA

Tim Meier, PA joined CHI St. Joseph’s Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Clinic in Park Rapids in February 2023.

Tim is a certified physician assistant with 18 years of experience and earned his degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

As a specialist in orthopedics, Tim diagnoses and treats patients for fractures, joint replacements, sports medicine and injury prevention. He believes in working with patients to identify their source of pain, discuss treatment options and determine which solutions and options will be most suitable for them.

Physical Therapy

Following orthopedic care, you may be given instructions for home exercises. To help make a smooth transition back to a more normal level of activity, you may be referred to CHI St. Joseph’s Health Physical Therapy.

Sports Physicals

Sports physicals are also called sports qualifying physical examinations. These visits help identify health problems before they become serious issues due to increased physical activity. During a sports physical your provider will check:

  • Medical history, including past illnesses, surgeries, injuries and concussions
  • Vision and hearing screening
  • Height and weight

Your provider will also provide information on injury prevention to keep your athlete safe while playing. Call 218-616-3700 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Learn how CHI St. Joseph’s Health Orthopedics can help you Move & Live Pain Free!

To schedule an appointment call: 218.616.3700

Telehealth Visits Available

Visit Your Provider From The Comfort of Your Home!

Specialty care through phone or online virtual visits.


I fractured my patella on my right knee on October 21, 2023.  After a fall on Saturday afternoon, my daughter brought me to the St. Joseph’s Hospital emergency room about 7:00pm that evening.  I received quick and excellent care there; but unfortunately finding my patella fracture…

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“Wowsa!! What a miraculous difference. I was in so much pain for the last year it was daunting and exhausting. After my visit with Dr. Prochaska I had no doubt I was ready to feel better. I’m so happy I had my knee replaced. Instantly the pain, that nagging bone on bone pain, was gone. Dr. Prochaska is a miracle worker, my hero and he’s right here in Park Rapids, his staff is absolutely amazing, and the kindness, care, and attention to detail is terrific. I am now able to be back to work full time, without pain. I’m so happy I had this done. Thank you Dr. Prochaska. I’m forever grateful. Stop waiting, get it done! Just Do It. ”
Jackie Griffin

“I recently underwent shoulder surgery from Dr. Vern Prochaska at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Park Rapids, Minnesota. The personal care, concern and professionalism was fantastic. We are fortunate to have Dr. Prochaska in our community who is able to meet multiple Orthopedic concerns one might have.  You’ll be glad you contacted Dr. Prochaska!”
Loren Ferch

“There are moments in life when someone enters and makes a true difference! Dr. Prochaska is “ that person” for me. I don’t know if words are even adequate in describing his presence in mine. Not only does he have an easy ear, he understands, digests and takes on the task of ethical medical procedures. His personality is a mixture of humor, concern and genuine care. What more could I have asked for? He performed a hip procedure for me that took me from a place of despair and pain to HOPEFULNESS and HEALING. Overall, Dr. Prochaska is simply put, a wonderful human being. I am forever in his debt!”
SuEllen Brown

5 reasons not to grin and bear it

Limping, leaning, avoiding stairs, slowing down. When you put up with pain and put off care you risk:


Making an injury worse. With a rotator cuff tear, for example, you’re slowly tearing it more and that makes the surgery more difficult.


Causing even more pain. Limping on a sore knee can affect your hip, your back, your other knee.


Limiting your treatment options. Some people delay being seen because they think all we do is surgery. But what is mostly prescribed is physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications – if seen early.


Lengthening your recovery. Pain causes people to get out of shape. If you don’t have the strength, it’s more of a struggle to recover from a surgery.


Missing out on life. People will quit certain activities or stop going places to avoid steps. If pain changes your lifestyle, you should have it evaluated and treated.

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