Eli Teeselink’s Story

Eli Teeselink’s Story

Fifteen-year-old Eli Teeselink of Waconia has a distinctive ability to turn his soft-spoken, laid-back personality off the field into a fierce, powerful competitor on the field. Standing 5’ 11”, weighing 230 pounds and sporting size 15 shoes, rarely anything prevents Eli from out-hustling, crushing or manhandling an opponent—except the moment he felt pain in his knee last summer during a baseball game.

“The count was 2-2 and I saw the curve ball coming,” Eli said. “I swung half rotation, felt a weird pop and didn’t think much about it after that—except when I started running.” Every step triggered a sharp pain in his right knee.

As baseball season ended and football season began, the pain continued. Eli recalled it was 24/7, but with his natural go-with-the-flow personality and no-fuss attitude, neither he nor his parents knew he had a meniscus tear and needed arthroscopic surgery. Eli iced his knee at home, wore a neoprene sleeve and attended treatment sessions at Ridgeview Rehab Specialties’ Injury Care for Athletes Program. But after several treatments, Eli’s athletic trainer referred him to Jeffrey Mair, DO, Twin Cities Orthopedics, for evaluation.

An MRI indeed revealed a meniscus tear, confirming the reason for Eli’s pain and frustration.

Ironically, Eli was at a wrestling meet the night his dad received a call from Dr. Mair regarding the diagnosis. “I was relieved to know what it was and understood the reason for surgery,” Eli said, “but bummed I would have to sit out for the rest of wrestling season.” For a dedicated athlete like Eli, not being able to compete is a downer, but little did he know the outcome of his surgery would be more than stellar.

Eli and his parents were delighted with how positive the experience was, but pleasantly surprised with how individualized it felt. Eli had a special pillow waiting for him when he arrived for surgery at Ridgeview Medical Center and a smile on his face when he walked out.

“Dr. Mair was awesome, the nurses were really nice and I couldn’t believe how easily I walked out of there,” Eli said. “I think I took one pain pill after surgery, one when I got home and didn’t need another after that.”

Eli jogged with a buddy six weeks post-surgery and started wrestling practice again after seven. Now, grateful to be painfree, Eli has a new appreciation for the message he writes on his wrist tape before a football game: “Anything’s possible.” With a repaired knee and promising baseball season ahead, he’s right.

Ridgeview’s state-of-the-art medical equipment and specialized programs are made possible through generous donations from friends, patient’s families and neighbors who believe exceptional health care so close to home is a gift.