September 18, 2023
Meet Mark Lambrechts, MD
Dr. Lambrechts provides specialized care to patients with spinal conditions, with a particular focus on treating degenerative spine conditions and traumatic spinal injuries.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Pacific, MO, and enjoyed spending my summers at the nearby Six Flags. I enjoyed the thrill of roller coaster rides and playing amusement park games. Though raised in Pacific, I spent significant time in St. Louis County growing up during my time at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School (MICDS).
What made you choose spine care and trauma as a specialty?
I really became interested in spine and spine trauma early during my orthopedic training. The ability to help restore function and improve the quality of people's lives makes spine a truly unique field. I am also interested in continuing to research how to best improve the outcomes for spine patients. Spine surgery is such an interesting field because there is still much to be learned about maximizing patients' recovery following spine surgery.
What brought you to Washington University Orthopedics?
I've always wanted to be able to provide care to the communities I grew up in. Washington University is one of the world leaders in providing spine and orthopedic care and they are at the forefront of research and technology. It's truly unique that people in St. Louis are able to receive world class care in their backyard.
What aspect of your practice do you find most interesting or rewarding?
The most rewarding part of my practice is relieving pain and improving my patients overall quality of life. Spine-related pain can be truly debilitating, but while I may see some people at their time of greatest need, I have the privilege of sharing their journey until they improve.
Anything new on the horizon for spine care?
This is one of the most exciting times to be a spine surgeon. Technology is advancing at a rapid pace and spine surgeons must keep up to provide the highest quality care for their patients. Both motion-preserving procedures and minimally-invasive procedures hold great promise in improving short term outcomes for patients with degenerative spine disease. Although there is tremendous interest in improving the technology available for patients with spinal cord injury, it may still be a while before the technology is ready to be implemented for everyday use.
What is the best advice you ever received?
My stepfather would always tell me "do things the right way the first time." I couldn't think of a better motto for a spine surgeon.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
When I'm not spending time with my family, I enjoy playing tennis and golf. I am no longer good at either...but I enjoy being outdoors!
If you weren't a physician, what would you like to be doing?
One of the hardest challenges of being a physician is figuring out how to most effectively help people while disrupting their lives in the smallest amount. In this way, each person comes in with a unique story and presents us with a challenge on how to best help them. For this reason, helping people can be similar to trying to solve a puzzle. Many puzzles have multiple solutions, but sometimes there is a "best" answer. While I couldn't imagine giving up patient interactions, I would probably be solving a different type of puzzle working as a research scientist. There still is so much unknown in the world of medicine and I could imagine myself trying to cure cancer or create a drug that optimizes function in spinal cord injury patients.
Anything else you would like to share?
I have a beautiful wife who I enjoy going to dinner with and watching movies with. We have two wonderful children who enjoy playing sports and we love to play baseball and basketball with them. When our family has free time we also enjoy relaxing and going to a beach or the pool.
Learn why patient's choose Washington University Orthopedics, request an appointment online or call (314) 514-3500.