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Meet D. Allan Lanzo, Orthopaedic Surgeon at GBMC

August 5, 2020
Having to find a new healthcare provider can be a daunting task. It’s difficult to know whether the provider will be a good fit for you from just a biography and a photo online. In the series, “What’s Up, Dr. Dovec?” GBMC bariatric surgeon, Elizabeth Dovec, MD, FACS, FASMB, interviews providers across the GBMC HealthCare System so you can get to know them on a personal level and learn more about their specialties. In this episode, Dr. Dovec interviews Allan Lanzo, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in surgery of the shoulder and knee and the Director of GBMC’s Sports Medicine Program. He talked with Dr. Dovec about new developments in shoulder surgery and why he’s chosen to build his career at GBMC over the last 30 years.

“When a patient gets referred to an orthopaedic surgeon, they often think that surgery is the only option to treat their problem, but that’s not how we approach orthopaedic care,” Dr. Lanzo explained. “Whenever possible and appropriate, we start with conservative treatment like physical therapy or cortisone shots. Surgery is just one tool in our toolbox.”

When surgery is needed, Dr. Lanzo is experienced with the latest orthopaedic surgery techniques. He is one of the only doctors in the area who performs reverse shoulder surgery to treat rotator cuff problems. “Before this technique was developed, long-term rotator cuff issues were an impossible problem,” he said. “The patients would have less and less range of motion and more pain from arthritis, which really negatively impacted quality of life. This surgery allows us to reverse the geometry of the shoulder, which replaces and secures the joint, taking care of the arthritis, and helping the deltoid muscles work better. It has really changed the landscape in terms of effective treatment.”

Dr. Lanzo says most of his patients fall into two categories—younger athletes with acute injuries and people who are 50 and older who have developed problems because of wear and tear on their joints and tendons over time.

Asked why he chose to specialize in orthopaedics and build his career at GBMC, he said, “I was active in athletics when I was younger and knew I wanted to be a doctor. As an orthopaedist, I’m able to combine those two interests and help people get back to the activities they love. And GBMC is the perfect place to work. It’s small enough that you can influence policies and procedures and have the freedom to explore and develop your practice without being locked into a bureaucracy.”
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