Some people see life as an exciting adventure with much to learn along the way. For Dr. Tina Hajewski, a newly hired member of the Olympia Orthopaedic Associates (OlyOrtho) spine care team, the long and winding road recently brought her to the Pacific Northwest for the next stage of life’s journey. Her expertise in spine surgery is a win/win for new and existing OlyOrtho patients.
An orthopaedic surgeon specializes in the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles that keep us on our feet, active and doing all the things we love best. OlyOrtho offers specialized orthopaedic care focusing on sports medicine, neurosurgery, joint replacement, and the treatment of spine, shoulder, elbow, hand, wrist, hip, knee, foot and ankle.
On her journey to joining their team, Hajewski – who was born and raised in Texas – went to college at the University of Miami in Florida where she swam and studied geology. Then Brown for graduate school before moving to Colorado in preparation for medical school. She returned to the University of Miami for medical school, then residency at the University of Iowa and fellowship in Indiana at the Indiana Spine Group. “I have been a little bit of everywhere and we are excited to have the Pacific Northwest be our final frontier and new home.”
While excited to explore a new corner of the map, “It was really the people that brought me here,” she explains. “I am a big believer in surrounding yourself with people that have similar interests and values. Everyone I met at OlyOrtho when I interviewed here was very enthusiastic about their work and taking good care of patients, and that resonated with me.”
“I also wanted to join an orthopaedic group with a robust spine program because spine problems can be complicated puzzles to solve,” she continues. “The new spine center at OlyOrtho is the perfect place because there are different types of spine providers all under one roof working together to help our patients.”
This blend of problem-solving with the real-life issues of her patients sealed the deal. “I am really excited to get to know my patients as people and learn what their goals are and figure out how I can help them achieve those goals,” says Hajewski. “Even though I am a spine surgeon, for many of my patients the answer to their problem will not be spine surgery. I do not take signing patients up for surgery lightly, and if that is the right option it will be a decision we come to together. Anything I can do to help my patients get back to doing what they want to do is a win in my book.”
A lifelong athlete herself, Hajewski turned to orthopaedics almost from day one. “Being active is something very important to me. I wanted to have a career where I could help people keep doing the things they wanted to be doing and orthopaedics was an ideal fit for that.”
Made up of 33 vertebrae, the spine is truly our body’s main support system. With joints, disks, nerves and soft tissues, there are lots of moving parts that all require careful diagnosis and treatment. But –thanks to the wonders of modern medicine – working with the spine can now be done without long, costly hospital stays or protracted surgeries.
“Where I did my fellowship, we were able to do a lot of spine surgery as an outpatient,” says Hajewski, “for removing herniated lumbar discs, as well as some neck and back fusion procedures. Again, this is not the case for every patient and every problem, but I think many patients are surprised that spine surgeries can be done as an outpatient.”
Hajewski comes to the Olympia area with her husband Jeff who is a software engineer, two sons Tristan and Liam, and their dog Murph. “We love the outdoors and are excited about all the Pacific Northwest has to offer.”
Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or read patient reviews, informative blog posts and scroll through their video education library for the latest research. If you get bogged down with the medical terminology, head over to their Frequently Asked Questions for clarification.
If you or someone you love is living with pain, injury or mobility issues, visit one of the OlyOrtho clinic locations or head to their West Olympia Rapid Orthopaedic Care urgent clinic at 3901 Capital Mall Drive SW. You can also schedule an appointment online or call 360.570.3460 with questions. Don’t live a restricted life any longer, let OlyOrtho providers like Dr. Hajewski get you back on your feet again. She has a wealth of experience and wants to help keep your life in motion.