Quad Cities, IL/IA

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

Innovators in Orthopaedics Meet the Surgeons of Orthopaedic Specialists


(from left to right): Dr. Tuvi Mendel, Dr. Tyson Cobb, Dr. John Hoffman, and Dr. Michael Dolphin are the surgeons of Orthopaedic Specialists, recognized as pioneers in their unique areas of expertise.

Figuring out how to treat your orthopaedic injury can be an overwhelming process. Medical websites provide all types of different diagnoses; advertising claims can be false, and word-of-mouth often leads to lots of varying opinions.

While wading through the information available can be confusing, one thing is for certain — it makes sense to trust orthopaedic innovators with a proven track record. It’s reassuring to turn to those who have pioneered surgical techniques for use not only in our region — but across the globe. And, it’s inspiring to work with surgeons who practice what they preach when it comes to health and fitness.

That’s where the four doctors at Orthopaedic Specialists (OS) come in. OS is the Quad-City area’s only group of all board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeons.

Dr. Tyson Cobb, Dr. Michael Dolphin, Dr. John Hoffman, and Dr. Tuvi Mendel live and breathe their specialty. This type of experience spawns innovation, resulting in less invasive procedures, shorter surgical times, accelerated recovery, and better results. It’s this unique combination of specialized education, experience, and commitment that makes them pioneers in their field.

Dr. Cobb Develops New Minimally Invasive Procedures
From gripping a basketball to typing, or even holding a pencil, it’s all in the hands, wrist, and elbow. When these parts of your body are in pain, it can bring your life to a standstill.

Technologies and procedures transforming hand and upper extremity surgery are being put into practice right here in the Quad Cities.

Dr. Cobb has dedicated much of his career to becoming one of the world’s experts on minimally invasive surgery of the upper extremity. He holds several patents for minimally invasive surgical equipment. He works with his partners at the American Hand Institute to develop innovative surgical procedures that drastically reduce downtime, and minimize pain and discomfort. 

One example is the Endoscopic Biceps Tendon Retractor surgery. In the past, surgery for this condition required a large, open incision, and a lengthy downtime following surgery. In collaboration with the American Hand Institute, Dr. Cobb designed, developed, and patented an innovative, minimally invasive surgical device that allows this operation to be performed through a one-inch incision. That means patients typically experience less pain and a shorter recovery. 

“Because this new surgical technique can be performed through such a small incision in the elbow crease, it results in a much more cosmetically pleasing and less visible scar,” said Dr. Cobb.

As a result of his groundbreaking work, Dr. Cobb instructs surgeons from around the world in the use of minimally invasive arthroscopic and endoscopic orthopedic surgery techniques for the upper extremity.

Dr. Dolphin Helps Patients With Back Injuries Heal Faster
Your back is at the center of almost all movement. From swinging a golf club to simply getting in and out of your car, back pain can disrupt your entire life.

Using physical therapy and medications, Dr. Dolphin, a board-certified surgeon at Orthopaedic Specialists, and graduate of the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, is able to treat many back and neck problems conservatively. He believes strongly in the body’s ability to heal itself.

However, if non-surgical methods prove ineffective, Dr. Dolphin is able to treat a multitude of back and neck symptoms with minimally invasive surgical options, many of which are able to be performed on an outpatient basis. In fact, Dr. Dolphin was the first to bring minimally invasive spinal surgery to the Quad Cities.

“These minimally invasive surgeries allow patients to recover with very minimal scarring, or the need for plastic surgery. It’s done on an outpatient basis,” said Dr. Dolphin. “That means people are home resting in the comfort of their own home in no time.”

Outpatient procedures have proven to be very beneficial to patients. Most people feel physically and emotionally more comfortable in an outpatient environment. 

Dr. Hoffman Pioneers New Joint Program That Speeds Up Recovery Process
As the orthopaedic surgeon for the Bettendorf High School Bulldogs football team, Dr. Hoffman has seen a lot of joint injuries. But you don’t have to be playing high school sports to suffer from irritating joint symptoms that affect your mobility. In fact, many joint injuries are the result of wear and tear on your body from everyday activities.

Whether you have injured a joint or suffer from a chronic condition, Dr. Hoffman and his team do their best to help you get back to feeling like yourself.

Dr. Hoffman has performed more than 1,500 anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructions in his career, and performs more than 500 total joint procedures per year. Armed with this expertise, he has been an integral part of developing a Rapid Recovery Joint Program at UnityPoint Health Trinity, a regional integrated healthcare delivery system. Dr. Hoffman’s innovative Rapid Recovery Joint Program
allows patients to leave the hospital in less than half the time needed on average nationally.

“Rapid Recovery Total Joint surgery uses a unique minimally invasive approach, and a combination of medicines before, during, and after surgery to get patients up and moving faster,” said Dr. Hoffman.

“Most patients are fairly independent, with just the use of a cane or walker the day after surgery.”

As part of a statewide orthopaedic collaborative, he educates other surgeons how to implement this unique program, which was designed to specifically emphasize patient education, pain control, and rapid recovery through a team approach to care, delivery, and research-based clinical pathways.

Dr. Mendel Uses First-Hand Experiences to Improve Athletes’ Treatment Options

When it comes to entrusting your well being to a healthcare professional, it makes sense to pick a surgeon who “talks the talk” and “walks the walk.” Dr. Mendel is that surgeon. He runs triathlons. And, he’s a regular CrossFitter. What he knows about exercise — coupled with his expertise as a surgeon — is how he’s paving the way for innovative minimally invasive treatments for the foot and ankle.

As one of the leading orthopaedists specializing in foot and ankle surgery in the Midwest, Dr. Mendel heads the Foot & Ankle Center of Excellence at Orthopaedic Specialists. Because of his focus in foot and ankle injuries, he is able to offer procedures to the area that give patients an alternative to fusions (such as ankle replacements), as well as many minimally invasive techniques.

“As an athlete, it can be truly devastating when you are injured,” said Dr. Mendel, who recently completed a triathlon with a former patient. “Minimally invasive procedures prevent patients from having an even bigger operation, which can result in a longer recovery time away from the sport they love.”

Dr. Mendel has also attained his additional certification in sports medicine, and is able to offer athletes of all ages arthroscopic management of sports-related foot, ankle, and lower leg injuries.

To learn more about the procedures that Dr. Cobb, Dr. Dolphin, Dr. Hoffman, and Dr. Mendel perform, or to schedule an appointment at Orthopaedic Specialists, call 563.344.9292, or visit www.OSQuadCities.com. Like OS on Facebook at www.facebook.com/osquadcities to stay up-to-date with treatment options and information.