This is my inaugural post as I dive head first into the illustrious world of blogging. My goal is to be an informative source to you, my patients, of all things related to the field of orthopedics with an emphasis on how to keep your bones & joints healthy and the “state of the art” when it comes to joint replacement. Along the way, I’ll introduce you to my clinical team and colleagues in my practice to help you understand just exactly “what an Orthopedic Surgeon does with their time”.

Well…. here goes nothing

I thought I would start off by explaining how I got here & what exactly a “Total Joint Surgeon” is.

I graduated from my beloved alma mater, Creighton University, in 1999 with a BSc (Bachelor’s in Science) …. generic, I know. It was “biology focused”, mind you; & a pre-med track. And not to be understated, I also had a minor in Theology (those Jesuits are really a swell group of dudes; by the way, those of us “in the know” refer to them as “Jebbies”). Creighton wasn’t done with me yet. I was subsequently accepted into their medical school & graduated in 2003 with my MD. During this time, I had a HPSP scholarship with the United States Air Force, which payed for three of my four years of medical school. I was accepted into an Orthopaedic Surgery Residency thereafter at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) where I spent 2003-2008 training as an Orthopaedic Resident. From July of 2008 through June of 2011, I served Active Duty in the USAF as an Orthopedic Surgeon, stationed at Langley AFB, VA. During this time, I practiced what we call “general orthopedics”, which essentially means I took care of almost everything: sports medicine, shoulder/knee/hip/elbow arthroscopy, pediatric injuries, hand, foot/ankle, trauma, & joint replacements. I also was deployed to Kirkuk Regional Air Base in Kirkuk, Iraq in 2009 & served as their Orthopedic Surgeon for 4.5 months.

Once separated from the USAF in 2011, I was accepted for a 13-month Orthopedic Fellowship in “Adult Reconstruction” at the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics in Baltimore, Maryland. My prior 17 years of schooling and 3 years in the AF apparently weren’t enough. Insert laugh. “Adult Reconstruction” essentially refers to hip and knee replacements, both primary (the first joint replacement) & revisions (“re-dos”, so to speak). Being a “fellow” is in and of itself an honor and privilege, but it does come at a cost: there are long hours & you are paid like a resident again. Thank God I have a supportive & loving wife With that said, I was the primary surgeon for over 400 cases & the first or second assist on 300 more during those 13 months. This was hands-on experience you just can not put a price tag on. Furthermore, I could not have had better mentors: Drs. Michael Mont, Ronald Delanois, & Harpal Khanuja. They passed-on their skills & knowledge of hip, knee & shoulder arthroplasty (which means replacement). These physicians were all, likewise, fellows of & trained by Dr. David S. Hungerford, MD & Dr. Kenneth A. Krackow, MD who are internationally recognized for their work in the fields of hip & knee arthroplasty, revisions, & avascular necrosis. Their long tenure at Johns Hopkins University is one of the key reasons their Orthopedic Department was such a renowned & sought-after training program for many years. As such, I am humbled & grateful for the excellent training & experience I obtained as a “RIAO Fellow”. I can not thank my mentors enough for the experience.

So, my practice as an Orthopedic Surgeon is with a sub-specialty focus on “Adult Reconstruction”. I essentially manage painful joints of the hips, knees, & shoulders - both medically & surgically. Some areas that I have special, clinical interest in & topics of which I hope to discuss in more detail with this blog in the future:

  • Anterior Approach Hip Replacement
  • Partial or “Unicompartmental” Knee Replacement
  • Robotic Knee & Hip Replacement - Yes (It’s really cool)
  • Total & Reverse Shoulder Replacement
  • Revision Hip Replacement with the Anterior Approach
  • Anterior Approach for Hip Fractures
  • Same-day and/or “short stay” joint replacement: hip, knee, & shoulder
  • Osteoporosis: management & prevention
  • Avascular Necrosis (aka “osteonecrosis”) of the hip, knee & shoulder
  • Revision Knee Replacement
  • Painful Hip Replacements
  • Painful Knee Replacements
  • Infected Joint Replacements (aka “Periprosthetic Joint Infections” or “PJI”)
  • Periprosthetic Fractures
  • Osteoarthritis: medical management

With that, I welcome all my followers out there. I hope to make this educational with the goal of improving your quality of life by getting you “back in the game”. A message to all of my new, potential patents out there: “come see me” And, to all of my past & current patients out there: “spread the word on what having your mobility restored has truly meant to you and your family… why did you wait so long anyway?”

Dr. L