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Stepping up to the plate: Cole and Landon Brunner’s story

If you ask Cole Brunner, 10, the best part of playing baseball he’ll tell you it’s the excitement of the game. Whether striking out a batter, connecting on a pitch for a line-drive hit or cheering on his teammates, it’s clear this fourth grader loves sports and is very active. Like so many other young athletes, though, Cole has found himself on the sidelines with various injuries.

“I treat a lot of fractures — most of which I can treat without surgery because kids heal really well,” said Eric Krohn, D.O., fellowship-trained Pediatric Orthopedist. For Cole and his brother, the timing of Dr. Krohn’s arrival to Monument Health was just right — he is the only physician in the Black Hills to specialize in pediatric orthopedics.

“Fortunately or unfortunately, both my boys have seen Dr. Krohn,” said Alyssa, Cole’s mom. “Until we needed to see a specialist, I didn’t realize Monument Health had someone like Dr. Krohn. My family and I certainly felt a sense of relief knowing we were in good hands.”

A pediatric orthopedic physician has a good understanding of how bones change as children grow and how growth and healing can impact pediatric patients.

“Like other physicians, we approach a 2-year-old differently than a 16-year-old,” said Dr. Krohn. “I’m able to focus on how bones and bodies change over time. Whether I’m treating a sports injury that caused a fracture or creating long-term care plans to increase lifelong mobility for a child with cerebral palsy or scoliosis, I’m here for the whole community.”

Dr. Krohn has seen Cole twice, both times for fractures and both times he has healed with the ability to resume riding bikes, playing sports and being active with his younger brother and friends.

“Both times when Cole got hurt we first went to OrthoExpress and got our X-rays and had follow-up appointments with Dr. Krohn,” Alyssa explained. “They took such good care of us that when my younger son, Landon, was complaining of foot pains we called the clinic to schedule with Dr. Krohn.”

Landon also loves sports and is active with soccer and basketball. An injury would have sidelined some of those sports. Luckily, Landon escaped a cast or brace and Dr. Krohn determined his discomfort was associated with growing pains. Now, with a peace of mind, Alyssa is able to cheer on both of her boys in their respective sports knowing that they are healthy and ready for a summer of fun.

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