General Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine


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herniated disc anaconda mtCarl K. Schillhammer, M.D.
Founder of Carl Schillhammer MD
Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon
Fellowship-trained in Sports Medicine




We specialize in knee pain and shoulder pain

The field of orthopedics is extremely specialized now. Fifty years ago, an orthopedic surgeon represented the best specialist to deal with any injury to bone. However, now orthopedic surgeons specialize in specific parts of the body. That’s because there are constantly new and evolving techniques, medical instrumentation and implants specific to each joint in the body. It’s simply impossible for an orthopedic surgeon to provide the most advanced and current techniques and technology for all the joints in the body.

Additionally, new minimally invasive surgery techniques and instruments now enable a surgeon to access the inside of the body through surgical tools that are the width of a ball point pen. Through these cannula, a specialist will manipulate a tiny camera with incisor cutting blades to perform corrective surgery within various joints. This shortens the incision and scar; reduces disruption to muscles and ligaments; shortens the time in the hospital; and speeds return to activity with a less painful rehab process.

Years ago traditional surgery might require an open three inch incision — with all the associated disruption to muscles, tissues and tendons — and then several days in the hospital, and after that months of rehab to rebuild the disrupted tissues from the large incision. Conversely, with minimally invasive surgery, the orthopaedic surgeon can now can operate through a half-inch long incision, using advanced surgical instrumentation to correct the injury to the joint. The patient is often able to go home the same day to the comfort of their home. Rehabilitation is quicker, less painful and the person is back to their work, sport or recreational activity faster and with a better clinical outcome.

Consequently, because of the above benefits, every medical specialty has become “sub-specialized” with super specialists that have the most advanced expertise in their particular niche. As with anything else in life, practice makes perfect, and those who do the most of something become the most proficient.

We believe that the best quality healthcare comes from a well-informed patient. Consequently, you will find in this Internet site valuable information about what causes knee pain and shoulder pain — our two areas of specialization.

You will learn what knee pain and shoulder pain symptoms mean and if there are home remedies or home exercises that can relieve some symptoms. Recognizing that people tend to self-diagnose themselves — and often with the wrong information — we’ve provided detailed symptom charts that can tell you when it’s important to see the orthopedic specialist to prevent further damage to a knee joint or shoulder joint.

Through this educational Internet site, you will learn how to make better medical decisions for your care, and if you need to get a second opinion for surgery, how to conduct that search for the right specialist.

About fellowship training

Fellowship-training represents the highest level of medical education in the United States. For a younger physician leaving medical school today, however, it simply is not practical to spend 15 years garnering experience. So the process of gaining experience is compressed into a type of medical training called a “fellowship.”

With a fellowship, the orthopedic surgeon spends an additional year in training working with other experienced orthopedic surgeons who focus on a specific part of the body. This enables the orthopedic surgeon to see and handle — in the span of one year — very complex cases in a certain specialty that would otherwise be seen over a period of 20 years. In some cases, the specialist will see some of the worst cases of orthopedic injury brought in by helicopter to a regional referral center. Fellowship training consequently is of great value to a patient with a particular injury. While a general orthopedic surgeon might only be presented in the emergency room a complex knee injury one time in a year, the fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon may see this type of injury several times a month.

Board certification is another important indicator of healthcare quality. To become board certified, physicians complete undergraduate work, four years of medical school, and five years of postgraduate study, which includes internship and residency programs. They have also been practicing orthopaedic physicians for two years and passed the exam from the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons or the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Carl Schillhammer treats patients across Montana — Deer Lodge County, Silver Bow County, Beaverhead County, Gallatin County, Broadwater County, Meagher County, Missoula County and Ravalli County — with the most specialized care related to their orthopedic injury or pain symptom.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Carl Schillhammer, please call the Appointment Coordinator at 406-563-8571.

Dr. Carl Schillhammer is an orthopedic surgeon based in Central Montana who specializes in the treatment of knee pain, shoulder pain and sports medicine.  Patients travel to Dr. Schillhammer's Anaconda, MT clinic from across the various cities in the region, including Butte, Billings, Helena, Bozeman, Big Sky, Great Falls, Missoula and Kalispell. He is proficient in cartilage repair involving the knee, knee surgery, ACL repair and rotator cuff problems. His clinic is a regional referral destination for shoulder replacement.