Physician Spotlight on Dr. Mark Lapp

How did you get interested in orthopedics?

I became interested in orthopedics when I was young because my grandfather was a ski patroller and aided injured skiers on the mountain. I would ride around with him and see him giving first aid to people—including things like femur and tibia fractures, and other common orthopedic injuries. I realized I wanted to help people.

What is your practice philosophy?

My practice philosophy is centered around improving the patient’s quality of life. To achieve this, I use conservative methods that don’t require surgery, but when the injury is severe or a condition does not respond to treatment, surgery may be necessary. I believe in transparency, and I help my patients understand all the options available.

What should patients be excited about in spine surgery and orthopedics?

The field of orthopedic surgery is always evolving. In particular, the upward trend toward more minimally invasive procedures is something that is revolutionizing orthopedic surgery. This includes minimally invasive spine procedures. In a similar vein, these minimally invasive techniques allow for more outpatient surgeries because of smaller incisions and shorter recovery times.

What are your personal interests?

I enjoy spending time with family and staying active through skiing and bike riding.

What is your favorite part of your job?

The best part of my job is to see patients’ lives transformed through treatment. When you see children and adults with spinal deformities and disorders, they are often in a great deal of pain that impacts all aspects of their lives. In other orthopedic focuses, people may have pain while doing certain exercises or lifting objects, but with the spine, the debilitating pain can be constant. Seeing my patients find hope and pain relief is always the most rewarding part of my job.