Meet Dr. C. Lan Fotopoulos, Physiatrist and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specialist
My name is Constantine Lan Fotopoulos. I am a physiatrist and physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist with Dickson-Diveley Orthopaedics. I’ve been practicing with Dickson-Diveley since 2004.
PM&R, which stands for physical medicine and rehabilitation, is actually an amalgam of neurology, orthopedic surgery and rheumatology. We can take smatterings of information from each of those categories and apply them in a more targeted region, or a more targeted diagnosis. Physiatrists are physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians who have gone on and, in most instances, done a fellowship, received more musculoskeletal or sports medicine training, and specialized in types of interventional back pain treatment to provide back pain relief, and improve mobility and ambulation.
Not everyone with lower back pain needs a steroid injection. There are a number of individuals that can benefit from other forms of back pain treatment, such as a procedure called radiofrequency ablation. It helps tremendously with whiplash or lower back pain and sometimes even headaches. We also use it for knee pain. There are even back pain treatments for fractures in the back that do not require surgery. For example, an interventional back pain treatment called a vertebral augmentation, or vertebroplasty, is an in-and-out 30-minute procedure that can provide back pain relief almost immediately. There are even back pain treatments for patients with chronic lower back pain or neck pain or radiating hip pain that has not been cured by surgery. There is also a back pain treatment called spinal cord stimulation, where we stimulate the spinal cord with a small pulse to provide back pain relief.
It’s about making someone healthy. Someone may come in and say, “Doc, I’m good!” or call me saying, “Doc, I’m not coming in today. I feel great!” It’s funny, but I actually had an 80-year-old patient call me one day and say, “Gosh doc, I feel like I’m 60 again.” Those are very heartwarming things to hear.