Gritman orthopedic surgery helps heal the Vandals

‘I’m able to get back out there and be a dad again’

Visit our orthopedic care page to learn more about how we can help you get back to living a more pain-free life.

In roughly three weeks the University of Idaho Vandals were to take the field at Beaver Stadium against the nation’s 15th ranked team, the Penn State Nittany Lions, and in front of more than 100,000 rabid fans.

Ortho team 400x267 1Dr. Pennington has been performing orthopedic surgeries for Palouse-area residents and University of Idaho athletes with our team at Gritman for more than two decades.

And University of Idaho Director of Athletic Training Services Chris Walsh was headed to the Emergency Department at Gritman Medical Center after taking a hard fall on campus and injuring his left shoulder.

“It was about the busiest time of the year for us,” Chris said. “Horrible timing.”

Chris, who also serves as co-chair of the Big Sky Conference Health and Safety Committee, was no stranger to Gritman, having accompanied dozens of student-athletes to the hospital for treatment of illnesses, concussions, injuries and other conditions. Bad timing it was, but he knew he was in good hands.

Dr. Pennington is a pro at what he does. Almost every surgery (our student-athletes) have had has gone through him. I have 100% confidence in him. I have seen what he has done for our athletes – I trust him.” – Chris Walsh

“The staff has always taken care of our student-athletes really well, so I had a lot of confidence going over there,” Chris said. “We do have a good amount of students having surgery at Gritman, but until you are the patient you never fully appreciate it. It was a great experience.”

Chris was promptly taken in for X-rays, which confirmed his suspicions – he had dislocated his shoulder. After having his shoulder put back in place, Chris was referred to Dr. Steven Pennington of Inland Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Pennington also serves as a team physician and team surgeon for Vandal Athletics, so the two were well acquainted.

“Dr. Pennington is a pro at what he does,” Chris said.“Almost every surgery (our student-athletes) have had has gone through him. I have 100% confidence in him. I have seen what he has done for our athletes – I trust him.”

Dr. Pennington ordered a computerized tomography (CT) scan for Chris through Gritman Diagnostic Imaging. The results showed Chris hadn’t just separated his shoulder, he had also fractured his glenoid bone and surgery would be needed.

“He was able to get me into surgery (less than a week after the injury), which was an awesome turnaround,” Chris said.

While the surgery – which was performed in one of Gritman’s state-of-the-art operating rooms – was more complicated than most, it was a success.

“It was a difficult surgery, so I am glad we were at Gritman. The staff was awesome; the anesthesia team and the nurses were great,” Chris said. “Everything went smooth.”

Despite the severity of his injury, Chris was quickly back at work — and he was even allowed to travel with his team to Penn State.

“I got my sling off right before the first game of the season against Penn State,” Chris said. “It was a good recovery and it went quicker than I thought it would. I think that was because the surgery went so well.”

Chris is grateful for the care he received from Dr. Pennington and at Gritman. Not only was he back to work in no time, the quick recovery meant he didn’t miss out on what is most important – time with his family.

“I am a family guy. Just being able to get back out there and be a dad again, do things like play catch, you can’t do that with a bum shoulder,” he said. “Just to know that I am able to go back to a normal life again has been really good.”


About Inland Orthopaedic Surgery

Kyle j. Hazelwood, md

Kyle J. Hazelwood, MD

Dr. Hazelwood received an undergraduate degree in chemistry with a biochemistry emphasis from Gonzaga University in 2003 and a medical degree from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine in 2007. He completed an internship in general surgery and residency in orthopedic surgery at The University of Chicago in 2008 and 2012, respectively. Dr. Hazelwood was certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery in 2014. He served for four years active duty in the U.S. Air Force at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, where he earned the rank of Major and practiced general orthopedics. After his military service he completed a fellowship in sports medicine at San Diego Arthroscopy and Sports Medicine in 2017. Dr. Hazelwood has received a multitude of awards during his medical career including PGY-5 Orthopaedic Surgery Resident Leadership Award (2012), San Diego Arthroscopy and Sports Medicine Fellowship 10th Annual Jeff Tamborlane Award, and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (2013) for the best medical clinic in the Air Force. Dr. Hazelwood joined Inland Orthopaedics in 2017.
Edwin m. Tingstad, md

Edwin M. Tingstad, MD

Dr. Tingstad received an undergraduate degree in history from Washington State University in 1988 and a medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine in 1993. He completed a family medicine internship in Spokane in 1994 and an orthopaedic surgery residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 1999, then a sports medicine fellowship at University of Washington Department of Orthopaedics in 2000. Dr. Tingstad was certified in orthopaedic surgery by by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery in 2002 and in sports medicine in 2007. He has been practicing at Inland Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Clinic since 2000.

Since 1990, Inland Orthopaedic Surgery has been providing the region with a wide range of orthopedic services. Its surgeons are certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Gritman’s surgical team works with your primary care physician and surgeon to coordinate your care. We are ready to help you have a successful surgery and quickly get on the path to recovery and healing. From our highly-skilled and compassionate staff, advanced technology and our integrated services like physical therapy, you can be comfortable knowing you are in the best hands. Learn more about our Surgery Department and Gritman Therapy Solutions.