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Robert V. Knowlan, MD

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Orthopedic Surgery, Board Certified Sports Medicine Subspecialty Certification Area of Focus in Joint Replacement

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Areas of Focus

Hip Care
Knee Care
Sports Medicine

Robert V. Knowlan, MD

Practice Overview

Robert Knowlan, MD, is a board certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in hip replacement (direct anterior approach), knee joint replacement, and revision.  Dr. Knowlan specializes in sports medicine, and hip and knee injuries and conditions.

Clinical Interest

Knee Care, including ACL Reconstruction, Cartilage Injuries, Regeneration, Restoration, Arthritis, Arthroscopy, Osteotomy, Meniscus Tears, Partial Knee Joint Replacement, Total Knee Joint Replacement, and Revision Joint Replacement

Hip Care, including Bursitis, Total Joint Hip Replacement (Direct Anterior and Posterior Approach), Fracture Management, Arthiritis, and Tendonitis

Shoulder Care, including Rotator Cuff Repair and Impingement Syndrome

Sports Medicine, including ACL Reconstruction and Meniscus Tears

Fracture Care


Board Certified, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
Subspecialty Certification in Sports Medicine

Bachelor of Arts Degree
St. Thomas University, St. Paul, Minnesota

Orthopedic Surgery, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan

Medical Degree
Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska

Hospital & Surgery Center Affiliations

Eagan Orthopedic Surgery Center
HighPointe Surgery Center
Hudson Hospital & Clinic
Lakeview Hospital
Woodwinds Health Campus
Other facilities throughout Eastern Minnesota and Western Wisconsin

Professional Affiliations

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Minnesota Orthopaedic Society

Sports Affiliations

Stillwater Youth Hockey Association Coach

Special Interest

Pillar Club member of the St. Croix Valley United Way


Peter Larson, PA-C

Peter Larson, PA-C
Certified Physician Assistant

Tracy H.
Clinical Assistant

Patient Testimonials

September 23, 2019

Pat P.

Had a hip replacement November 2017. I considered myself pretty active and with officiating 4 sports, my hip got so bad that I was in tremendous pain and thought I would have to give officiating up. Met with Dr. Knowlan and he started the game plan for me to have a total left hip replacement in the EXCEL program. What a life changer that was. Surgery went extremely well and I followed all his directions on recovering from the surgery. I couldn’t believe how quickly I recovered from the surgery. I was back to umpiring in the spring of 2018 and basketball in 2018-19. I have had no problems with my left hip at all. I would recommend hip replacements to anyone needing one, just follow what TCO and Dr. Knowlan tells you, and you will recover 100% with no problems like I did.

September 9, 2019

Dean C.

One of the best decisions I’ve made in my life was to have hip replacement surgery done by Dr. Knowlan and his fine staff!

June 28, 2019

Lee H.

Dr. Knowlan is top notch! Every appointment had value and he was great at explaining the “why” behind what they were doing and what to expect at each stage of the process. Best doctor I have seen thus far.

April 28, 2019

Elizabeth K.

In 2005 I was in a bad car accident. I had 40 crushed bones in my right ankle. Dr. Knowlan put everything back together and for 8 years I walked with a brace and a cane. He saved my ankle! Then I got arthritis. It was very painful and Dr. Knowlan suggested ankle replacement. So, in 2013, Dr. Dahl did the replacement and when I was able to put weight on it, the pain was gone and now I got my life back! Except for the scars, no one would know I had an ankle replacement…… cane and no brace!

November 20, 2018

John P.

I am a veteran that has suffered injuries from military service. I have had two surgical procedures done at TCO in the past and have been extremely pleased in both cases. They were not pushy and spent the time to consult with me, discuss options and answer all my questions to my satisfaction. In May of 2018, I started to have a lot of pain in my hip and in July I had both x-ray and MRI completed at the Veterans Administration showing that I had a “bone on bone” situation and needed surgery. My wife and I met with Dr. Robert Knowlan at TCO and he had another x-ray done to confirm the VA’s findings. I was very concerned about hip surgery as I had heard about a painful and extended recovery period from that procedure. Dr. Knowlan explained that by doing a procedure known as the anterior hip replacement that I would be up and walking in two days. Dr. Knowlan spent a lot of time with us and provided a lot of assurance. We decided to go ahead with the surgery. Everything went just as he said. Dr. Knowlan met with us after the surgery and the next day to “check-up” as well. We couldn’t ask for more. I was out of the hospital after one day and walking without a cane in two weeks. If I had to do it again…Dr. Knowlan would be my guy! We would not hesitate to recommend Dr. Knowlan to others in need.

July 19, 2018

Jim E.

Dr. Knowlan,

Good morning, I stopped by your office in Stillwater yesterday. I was in the area and wanted to express my extreme pleasure on the outcome of my hip replacement your team performed in January of this year. I was able to tell the staff up front about complete satisfaction.

Everything I was told before my operation was spot on and beyond my expectations. Everyone on your team gave 110% and I am extremely grateful for the outcome. Prior to surgery, I was unable to sit comfortably and when getting on my motorcycle I witnessed a lot of pain trying to lift my leg over the frame. I no longer have this pain and now can sit comfortably and can now lift my knee to bend over to my other knee with out any discomfort. Another bonus is I can now walk more upright and without the pain I previously had. It is very nice to be able to take a speed walk with my wife without experiencing a fair level of discomfort/pain! Also, I was very impressed with your visit the night of my surgery….even with the snow storm.

In closing, thank you and your great team for the wonderful outcome of my surgery. I am very grateful to be able to get back to doing things I didn’t think I would ever be able to do again!

Jim E.

April 22, 2018

Mary P.

49 days today since surgery. The surgery was smooth. Dr. Knowlan – you are the best! Kind, funny, and very direct. The perfect combination. Best – you treated my broken ankle with assurances that I would walk again just fine and heal fast. Third day of full weight on it today. Thanks! (and thanks to John H. for sending me to you!)

April 16, 2018

Jerry B.

Hey Dr. Knowlan, Jerry here. March 11th was my 4 year anniversary of my bilateral knee replacements. Thank you again for returning my mobility. Everything is fantastic, no pain, no Tylenol, no drugs, nothing. I cannot thank you enough and keep up the great work. You, sir, are a great surgeon. Thanks forever. JB

April 16, 2018

Michele B.

I have been working with Dr. Knowlan for many years due to my degenerative arthritis in both of my knees. When the pain and the loss of function became intolerable, we decided it was time for the replacements. His knowledge, experience, and communication were essential in determining which knee to do first, and how soon after to do the second knee. I call it my medical miracle. I am amazed at the outcome. I feel like I am 20 years younger, because the limited function and pain made me feel 10 years older than I actually am. Sometimes I forget how painful and difficult it was to use my knees. Yet, every now and then I realize that I’m walking up stairs without pain, and I smile! I even have to remind myself that I don’t have to use the hand railing. I can stand, walk, and play golf without pain. I can shop without pain. At the end of a long day at work, I walk out to my car and realize how much energy I still have. It has been a life changer for me. I am grateful every day for my knee replacements. Dr. Knowlan is my hero! That may sound a little over the top, but my life is so much better now.

November 6, 2017

Carol H.

Dear Dr. Knowlan,

I want to thank you for the excellent surgery you did on my hip (torn tendon). I also want to thank you for being honest with me about the difficulty of this surgery and the possible outcomes. I really appreciate that especially. I also want to thank you for sitting down and taking the time to talk to me and answer all my questions. I hope your daughters graduation party turned out well. I know it was very warm but there were no storms on Saturday. I will see you in January and I will continue to walk hard to get stronger and maybe even try the skis again.

Carol H.

November 6, 2017

Cookie H.

Dr. Knowlan – I wanted to let you know how grateful I am 10 weeks out and life is really good, no improvements on golf scores though. It was great being in your care and I felt very confident. Always great to see you and chat even if its for a post-op visit. Please thank Pete and other team members.

Best wishes dear friend,
Cookie H.

November 6, 2017

Julie Z.

Dear Dr. Knowlan,

Although it seems like yesterday, it has been a year since you performed my hip replacement surgery. I went from excruciating pain every time I got in or out of the car or bed to being absolutely pain free since my surgery. Thank you so much for giving me back my life! I am so grateful to you and your team. I’ve told everyone that if they should ever need a hip replacement, Dr. Knowlan is the best. When my husband Steve and I met with Dr. Hartleben, we told him we wanted the best surgeon. He didn’t hesitate to recommend you. I even got to go to a  hospital close to home with the most wonderful caring staff, I couldn’t be happier.

Thank you again!

Julie Z

November 6, 2017

Janet H.

Dr. Knowlan,

Just wanted to thank you for the new hip I got one year ago today (9-29-15). We spend our winters in Colorado and before the surgery you told me I should be able to downhill ski by January, so that’s exactly what I did. I took my first couple runs on January 4th and slowly built up my stamina. Throughout the winter, I skied more and became better than I ever have in the past. I was able to accomplish this without any falls or sore muscles. Thanks to you and all the good physical therapists that I worked with very diligently. Thank you very much!! Great jobs!


July 18, 2017

Jeff S.

Dr. Knowlan and the TCO team was awesome! From the initial consults when I couldn’t walk without great pain through the follow up care after surgery when I threw my cane away, they treated me professionally and with respect, and the results were exactly as predicted. My life has completely turned around. Thank you TCO!

January 21, 2016

Jerry B.

In March, it will be two years since Dr. Knowlan replaced both of my knees. There are no words to express my appreciation. I was a 62 year old beat up P.E teacher with osteoarthritis and Dr. Knowlan came up with a plan for a bilateral knee replacement. Because of his surgical skills, I was on the driving range one month later and playing one week after that. Two years later and I have no need for ibuprofen, Tylenol, etc. I can walk daily for 5 miles and do the elliptical for 45 minutes with no pain and no discomfort. Great surgeon and wonderful physical therapists.

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Robert V. Knowlan, MD