Orthopedic Physician Launches New Practice





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Long-Time Surgeon Takes Innovative Approach With Non-Surgical Treatment

William R. Lee, MD, has always had an interest in how walking affects the health of the body. And that interest, which began in his early years of college, became the motivation behind his new medical practice. This practice, named the Mindful Orthopedic Institute, offers people a non-surgical treatment option for many different orthopedic problems.

But opening the Mindful Orthopedic Institute was not an overnight phenomenon. In fact, it’s been 25 years in the making.

As an undergrad student, Dr. Lee became interested in sports medicine and exercise physiology. He especially enjoyed studying the fitness aspect of physiology, and how our everyday movements and habits contribute to health — or lead to painful conditions.

His interest in these subjects led him to medical school, where he completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Michigan. For 25 years, Dr. Lee performed surgeries addressing orthopedic issues.

But something was missing.

Dr. Lee was reading medical studies and doing extensive research on today’s most common orthopedic problems. And he was intrigued by findings that suggested factors like modern footwear — and the way humans changed their walk as a result — were linked to a variety of aches, pains, and orthopedic problems.

This research renewed his desire to start prescribing non-invasive, non-surgical methods whenever possible. He started talking to his patients about what he calls “Deliberate Walking.” It’s a novel approach that combines Dr. Lee’s years of experience in orthopedics with a mindful way of walking that utilizes the bones, muscles, and joints the way they were intended — the way they were used before we started wearing shoes that interfered with our body’s own responses.

Dr. Lee decided to stop performing surgeries altogether, and to focus on his true passion. His desire to restore health without surgery became the cornerstone of his new, non-surgical practice, and the Mindful Orthopedic Institute was born.

At the Mindful Orthopedic Institute, Dr. Lee teaches his patients how to walk to maximize their body’s natural ability to heal problems and to maintain health. He uses his non-surgical method to treat a variety of orthopedic conditions, including: joint pain, arthritis, muscle weakness, joint instability, imbalance with fear of falling, and overuse injuries

“The beauty of deliberate walking is that it’s effective for so many different issues,” Dr. Lee explains. “I also work with patients who need traditional orthopedic treatments, and the two can be melded together seamlessly. For instance, a person who is undergoing physical therapy or getting injections can also utilize deliberate walking. Those who need surgery can use deliberate walking to help prepare for — and recover from — the procedure. Deliberate walking empowers people to improve their health, fitness, and well-being, using the body’s own mechanisms.”

“Deliberate walking has changed my life,” says Mary Oesterle, a patient of Dr. Lee. “I am able to do things I never thought I would do again. I began walking using the gait Dr. Lee taught me in February of 2017. My chronic neck pain became a memory and, in a few months, my lower back issues started to improve. I continue to get stronger and be more active. I am so thankful to live in a community where we have Dr. Lee’s careful analysis of our physiology available. He has a gift for questioning and making sense of how our bodies work.”

The Mindful Orthopedic Institute (MOI) in Chelsea, Michigan is focused on the personalized, nonsurgical treatment of orthopedic diseases affecting the spine, upper and lower extremities in adolescents and adults. For more information about MOI or Deliberate Walking, visit moichelsea.com.

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Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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