C. Lan Fotopoulos, M.D., Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance
Story by Ann E. Butenas
Specializing in treating chronic pain, acclaimed orthopedic specialist Dr. C. Lan Fotopoulos offers diverse treatments for hip, neck, back, shoulder and knee discomfort.
Dr. C. Lan Fotopoulos, an esteemed orthopedic specialist at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance in Leawood Kansas, brings transformative care to those afflicted by chronic pain. Based in Kansas and Missouri, he offers tailored treatments using cutting edge technology across various orthopedic disciplines.
A University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine graduate, Dr. Fotopoulos is board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, pain medicine, sports medicine, and undersea hyperbaric medicine. His diverse background includes serving as an ER physician and a lieutenant commander and diving and undersea medical officer in the US Navy.
With a deep passion for improving patients’ lives, Dr. Fotopoulos excels in treating neck, back, hip, shoulder, and knee pain. He employs minimally invasive procedures for spinal disorders such as epidural injections, vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty, radiofrequency ablation, spinal cord stimulation, and sacroplasty. His extensive expertise stems from his previous roles as a team physician for the Kansas City Royals and a physician for boxing and mixed martial arts in Missouri.
Fluent in English and Greek, with intermediate proficiency in Italian and basic knowledge of Russian, Spanish, and Arabic, this highly sought-after interventional physiatrist is renowned for his exceptional skills and patient-centered care, backed by state-of-the-art technology. His goal is to free his patients from the constraints that limit them through the most effective treatment approaches available for each individual and circumstance.
Dr. Fotopoulos doesn’t place limitations on himself, either. When patients visit him, they can expect not only medical discussions but also engaging conversations that extend beyond the realm of medicine. As a perpetual student, he has an insatiable desire to learn and achieve new goals. Currently, he is pursuing his pilot’s license, demonstrating his thirst for knowledge and adventure in all aspects of his life.
Moreover, Dr. Fotopoulos serves as the Captain of the Northmoor Police Department and the Claycomo Police Department, demonstrating his commitment to public service. He also generously shares his time and expertise by teaching at the Blue River Police Academy. Interacting with him during appointments promises to be both rewarding and fascinating, as his multifaceted interests ensure an enriching experience.
Healing with Advanced Orthopedics
With his expertise and innovative procedures, Dr. Fotopoulos provides effective solutions for various chronic pain conditions.
One remarkable treatment is Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS), which offers hope for individuals living with chronic pain. By surgically implanting a device under the skin, SCS delivers a gentle electric current to the spinal cord. This procedure modifies the pain signals sent to the brain, transforming the sensation from pain to a tingling feeling. SCS has proven beneficial for a wide range of chronic pain causes, including sciatica, failed back surgery, nervous system disorders, angina, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injuries. It is particularly suitable for patients who have experienced back trauma or have persistent pain following previous surgeries, as it can change the character of the pain experienced.
Additionally, Dr. Fotopoulos utilizes a groundbreaking procedure called Vertiflex, known as Superion. This procedure is designed for individuals with mild to moderate spinal stenosis, a condition that often causes back and leg pain while walking. Vertiflex mimics the relief experienced when sitting or curling up on one’s side, as it gently restricts spine extension while allowing flexion, thus alleviating pain. It offers an alternative for those not yet ready for spinal surgery, enabling them to regain an active lifestyle.
Another treatment option is the Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression (MILD) procedure. This procedure focuses on central spinal stenosis-induced back pain, commonly caused by the thickening of the ligamentum flavum. MILD involves removing excess tissue from within this ligament without the need to remove the entire ligament or any bone or disc. It is a safe and effective alternative to major spinal surgery, particularly suitable for patients with mild to moderate stenosis who are not yet ready or suitable for surgery.
Dr. Fotopoulos also employs Radiofrequency Ablation to address various conditions, including low back pain, neck pain, headaches, tumors, and specific heart issues. This procedure uses heat generated by radio waves to target and disrupt sensory nerves responsible for transmitting pain signals. By focusing on the facet joints that enable the back to flex, radiofrequency ablation effectively treats facet joint syndrome caused by arthritis. It offers long-lasting pain relief, often lasting from six to eighteen months and, in some cases, permanently. If nerves regrow and the pain returns, repeat procedures may be necessary. Radiofrequency Ablation has also demonstrated efficacy in alleviating knee pain following knee replacement surgery.
For patients with chronic pain that is not adequately managed through traditional spinal cord stimulation, Dr. Fotopoulos offers Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation. This innovative technique involves stimulating the dorsal root ganglion, a bundle of nerves that transmit pain signals to the brain. By implanting leads connected to the dorsal root ganglion and a battery-powered device under the skin, this procedure blocks the pain signals from reaching the brain, resulting in significant pain reduction. Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation is particularly beneficial for patients with unresolved pain after surgeries such as knee replacements, hernia repairs, and foot, ankle, or hip procedures.
Further, Dr. Fotopoulos provides Vertebroplasty, a procedure that addresses compression fractures in the vertebral column. By injecting cement into the fractured bone, the pieces are securely bonded, effectively relieving back pain. This technique allows patients to recover and return to their active lifestyles with reduced discomfort.
If pain has become a constant burden in your life, Dr. Fotopoulos may hold the solution. And the best part? You can find it right here in Kansas City.