John E. Lapkass, MD

Dr. John Lapkass is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in joint replacement and revision surgery as well as providing treatment for sports-related injuries.

Dr. Lapkass joined Anchorage Fracture & Orthopedic Clinic in 2005, after spending more than 16 years as an orthopedist at the Alaska Native Medical Center. He has received awards for recognition of and appreciation for providing health care for natives and has conducted field clinics all over the state.

Although he graduated from medical school at the University of California in San Diego, Dr. Lapkass has fully embraced the Alaska lifestyle. He enjoys many different outdoor activities, including all kinds of skiing, mountain and road biking, running, paragliding, and hiking.

He regularly participates in many of the quintessential Alaska adventure races, including the Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic and the 200-mile Iditasport. He currently holds the record for most Wilderness Classic races finished. In addition to Alaska adventure racing, Dr. Lapkass has also participated in five 100-mile ultra races in Leadville, Colorado, where the average elevation is 10,000 feet.

Not surprisingly, Dr. Lapkass has a special interest in sports medicine. He enjoys arthroscopy, ACL reconstruction, shoulder arthroscopy, instability repair, and rotator cuff repair. He is also proficient in total joint treatment, including hip, knee, elbow, and shoulder. Dr. Lapkass is one of the only orthopedists in Anchorage who performs total elbow replacement, hip arthroscopy, and hip replacement using the direct anterior approach.

Dr. Lapkass is a favorite among his patients, some of whom have followed him to Anchorage Fracture & Orthopedic Clinic from the Alaska Native Medical Center.

He is married with one daughter.


  • Total Joint Reconstruction (both primary and revision procedures)
  • Arthroscopy
  • Sports Medicine

Medical Degree

  • University of California at San Diego, San Diego, CA


  • University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO
  • University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, VA

Board Certification

  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery


  • Alaska State Orthopedic Society
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Anchorage Medical Society
  • Western Orthopedic Association

Dr. Lapkass is available to see patients at the following location:


Main Clinic: Suite 220
Physical Therapy: Suite 108
4100 Lake Otis Pkwy
Anchorage, AK 99508

Testimonials for Dr. Lapkass

“My husband and I feel very blessed to have had such an excellent surgeon. He cares about the outcome and was pleased with our progress. We honestly thought he had our best interest at heart! We are grateful to have had Dr. Lapkass as our provider!”

- Julie K.

“Dr. Lapkass provided top-notch care, considering my specific situation. I arrived for surgery, two weeks after breaking my leg and destroying the nerve at our beach fish camp. In addition to this, I had developed a blood clot adjacent to the injured area. I was a new patient and not in the best shape. It has been some years since my surgery and 3-month recovery. Despite having a slight case of foot drop, I can pursue most of my previous sought-after activities. I am most appreciative of Dr. Lapkass’s caring manner and expertise!”

- Lee S.

“After injuring my knee, I didn’t have to shop around for an orthopedist. I knew to call Dr. Lapkass. Thank you, John!”

- Regan B.

“Dr. Lapkass is very professional and personable. I would recommend him to anyone needing a total knee replacement.”

- Dave L.

“I have only seen Dr. Lapkass once but feel very safe in his care. Thanks, Doctor.”

- Janet M.

“I believe Dr. Lapkass to be a fine surgeon and his concern for me was/is very much appreciated. He doesn’t rush through the exam, rather takes his time to explain things.”

- Bob T.

“Top notch, first class care from day one. SO APPRECIATE this man and the staff!”

- Nicole C.

“Dr. Lapkass is a competent, concerned, and caring provider. At no time does he make you feel that your needs aren’t important to him. I was fortunate to be able to get in to see him following a procedure by an orthopedic doctor in another state. Although my first provider told me it might be difficult to find a physician that would work on another doctor’s surgery, Dr. Lapkass did so without reservation. I remarked to his assistant how exceptional that was and she basically replied that he did not care what had happened to you before you arrived, that when you walked into his office you became his patient and he was going to do all he could for you. I have and will recommend him to anyone who asks me about my experience. The procedure he performed for me was life changing and is very much appreciated.”

- Karol K.

“I received excellent care with Dr. Lapkass, he has great bedside manners, he takes time to listen to his patients and not assume when it comes to their care. I was so afraid of having hip surgery, but to tell the truth the surgery went very well and my main pain is gone. If I have to have another surgery on my hips, arms, shoulders or knees I would return to Dr. Lapkass. I had an overall great experience. Thanks to you and your team.”

- Prentiss B.

“Doctor Lapkass is a very knowledgeable provider. He takes the time to get to know you and answers all your questions thoroughly.”

- Kelly B.

“Lapkass was AMAZING! He quickly diagnosed my condition, very kind and courteous, and thoroughly explained the whole operation to be done on BOTH of my hips.”

- Lean W.

“I have been seeing Dr. John Lapkass for approximately 6 years. I was recommended by a friend to see him for my shoulder pain. I have also seen him for hip pain and most recently underwent a partial knee replacement. Dr. Lapkass has always been polite, professional, and takes the time to answer any questions you might have, and I like to ask them. I feel we have a good doctor/patient relationship and I have the utmost trust and confidence in him and his staff.”

- Vickie M.

“Outstanding pre-op, operations, and follow-up care by doctor, PAs, admin staff. All took all the time needed to communicate with me. Very friendly, professional with a human face, competent. Why would you ever go anywhere else? Wife agrees 100%.”

- Jim D.

“I have a pleasant experience in the clinic. Both Dr. Lapkass and Mary Ann are professional. I feel we are working as a team to rehab my shoulder.”

- Enetta W.

“I had three arthroscopic surgeries with Dr. Lapkass – shoulder, hip, and knee areas – and am very pleased with the outcome. I experienced very little pain after each surgery and only needed Aleve briefly. Dr. Lapkass not only has a wonderful bedside manner but is kind and caring. What a neat man he is.”

- Barbara G.

“I can never say enough of the great value and expertise Dr. Lapkass and the whole darn AFOC staff offer. I highly recommend to anyone that needs a super skilled team to fulfill their needs of expert care to get you back on the road. Thank you ALL for my positive experience with my new pain-free hip!”

- Chris M.

“Great doctor who takes time to talk with you and thoroughly explain everything and options for care.”

- William G.

“I went in with a bunion injury seeing first Physician Assistant Glen Welker and then subsequently, Dr. John Lapkass and his Medical Assistant, Mary Lou. In addition, the Office Assistants and my Physical Therapy Assistant were all very kind to me, helpful and addressed my concerns in a professional and timely manner. I’m a very active person and even more active after my surgery. I walk, run, bike, and swim after my active 7-year-old daily! So, I would like to say “Thank You” to Dr. Lapkass and his crew at Anchorage Fracture & Orthopedic Clinic for keeping me active and healthy.”

- Maiden D.

“I tore my ACL in my right knee in May 2015. I went to AFOC and received really good care from the start of my injury all the way up until my final appointment. I never had a major injury like this one and didn’t know how I was going to get through it. Front desk personnel were helpful scheduling the appointments, surgery, physical therapy appointments. The physical therapy team was very exceptional. I spent the most time with them and actually enjoyed the exercises they were making me do even though they hurt. The PA and nurses were very good about explaining and answering my wife’s and my questions. Dr. Lapkass was very thorough, personable and knowledgeable. I’m glad I chose AFOC for my recovery. Thank you.”

- Joe M.

“From the very first visit to determine what possible actions and steps to take moving forward, through surgery, post surgery, countless PT visits. the care has been exceptional. I got the very best care and very thoughtful attention to my needs and all my questions. The focus on my wellbeing and even mental state along the way clearly made for more comfortable days working through the healing and therapy.  Dr. Lapkass is the very best at communicating all the risks and rewards. He works very closely with the physical therapy staff to ensure every action, every step, every outcome is without surprise. Your confidence in the team grows every visit.  From the front desk staff on all three floors, the doctor, the PA, therapy staff, surgical staff, to include the woman who delivers the laundry every day to the therapy area, everyone contributes to your health and wellbeing. Sincere smiles and eye contact and genuine concern every visit by everyone you come in contact with. All this to say ‘I matter’ and everyone shows it.”

- Garry E.

“Most important, I immediately felt comfortable with him. His attentiveness to my care was exceptional. He did not rush his procedures or visits with me, took time to explain, made sure I understood what would be involved in my surgery and the follow up. My most recent visit was quickly scheduled and did not really impact my time away from work. I am an old-time Alaskan and two things mean the most to me, the hand shake/greet and the trust. Dr. Lapkass has those qualities.”

- Brad B.

“I have only had one visit with Dr. Lapkass, but am already impressed with his level of expertise and professionalism. I was astounded that he personally called me at home to discuss the results of some blood work he suggested I have done. In addition, the staff at the facility were all very courteous, reassuring and efficient. I would not hesitate to recommend this medical facility to any person in need of orthopedic care.”

- Christine L.

“I should have had my hip replaced two years ago. Like many people, I was skeptical of having a man-made part placed in my body. When the pain got to be too much and cortizone ceased to help, I finally made the decision. I have known and trusted Dr. Lapkass for many years and I knew I knew he was using the anterior approach for hip replacement. All of my research pointed me in that direction. The surgery went off without a hitch and my hip feels like it did back before the arthritis ate it up. I’m only 5 weeks out from surgery and it feels great. I’ll be hiking up areas in Hatcher Pass that I haven’t been in for over two years and I’ll be riding my bike to work again. Yippeee!”

- Sheri M.

“I have great confidence and admiration for my doctor and his entire staff. They are available, patient and professional and help with all my questions. The level of care is excellent – from every member of the team including support staff, physical therapy and the inpatient nursing staff. I have experienced emergency care, outpatient and inpatient surgery, and follow-up care. The concern, care and kindness are outstanding.”

- Linda M.

“Dr. Lapkass is the best of the best! From my first appointment through surgery and after surgery, Dr. Lapkass and his Medical Assistant Mary Lou showed compassion and concern for my well-being. I was honored that I could get an appointment with Dr. Lapkass. It was a long wait to have the surgery (he is popular) but ever so worth it. Dr. Lapkass explained what my injury was and after surgery he explained how he corrected the injury. I am a person who is thorough about needing to know about the surgery and what was done. I had previously seen two other orthopedic physicians and it was just in-and-out of the office with no explanation as to what they could do to help me. They did not go through the process of explaining to the patient what the problem was and how they could correct it. It is the 21st century and people want to be informed. We are not the patients of our parents’ generation who accepted anything the doctor did or did not say. Thank you, Dr. Lapkass in being so thorough with me, using props and exact words of what needed to be corrected. My surgery was fast and I had immediate relief from pain. My recovery is going better than expected. When you have the best doctor, you get the best results. I need to also mention that the staff who answer the phones and schedule appointments were always courteous. Thanks to all the staff at Anchorage Fracture and Orthopedic Clinic and especially to Dr. Lapkass for his expertise and kind smile.”

- Carole J.

“I developed pain in my elbow as a byproduct of bone spurs and calcium deposits within the joint that prevented my ability to straighten my arm. I also had sharp pain with a certain athletic movement. Dr. Lapkass diagnosed and recommended surgery for removal in January 2014. Recovery and rehabilitation took place until June 2014, and as of August 2014, I have regained full motion without any pain. Although the recovery took a lot longer than I had planned, I now enjoy adequate range of motion and am pain-free.”

- Nick K.

“Dr. Lapkass is a sweetheart. Surgery wasn’t the run-of-the-mill type. I had a reverse total shoulder replacement. He has been very caring and personable as well as committed to my well being. Thanks Dr. Lapkass.”

- Susan P.

“The first time I met Dr. Lapkass, I saw him for my shoulder. I had been to a previous doctor and received an injection, but still had pain. A friend of mine recommended Dr. Lapkass to me, so I went to see him. He gave me an injection in a different area and my pain went away. I recently had a partial knee replacement 7 weeks ago. Throughout my office visits and my surgery, I have been more than pleased with Dr. Lapkass’ knowledge, professionalism, and bedside manner. I feel comfortable and at ease with him. He explains things in detail and has a sense of humor too. I will be using him as my orthopedic doctor in the future when the time comes to repair my shoulder.”

- Vickie M.

“Pleasant, showed interest in my life, not just my issue. Willing to discuss the multiple problems during the visit.”

- Jennifer L.

“Dr. Lapkass is fantastic and fixed my foot problems with the utmost courtesy.”

- Arthur A.

“Excellent! Dr. Lapkass is always caring and concerned about how I am doing.”

- Linda A.

“Very helpful. Thank you, Doctor!”

- Debora C.

“Previously stainless steel hip replacement is done by Dr. Lapkass. A fantastic doctor with the best bedside manner and skills of any doctor ever known. The first surgery, no complications. I was up and overseeing our ministry at Sanctuary Ranch again very quickly. We can’t say enough good things about this compassionate, brilliant Dr. Lapkass.”

- Roger M.

“The entire staff was courteous and attentive. The doctor was very personable and gave me the impression that my health and wellness is a priority and that he will give his best effort to repair my broken body. I am glad I chose to put my life in the hands of this team. Thank you all for caring, and I will see you soon for one of the most important days of my life.”

- Rogers B.

“A friend, just a couple weeks after my anterior full hip replacement, had hers done at a different practice. AFOC dotted some I’s and crossed T’s that the other placed missed. The other place made no mention of the GameReady device that so effectively chills the hip and manages the swelling, nor did other site provide her with the paper to get the handicapped mirror-thing from the DMV. AFOC appears to have a bigger view of all the aspects of recovery.”

- Jim D.

“Professional, empathetic, caring, real. Dr. Lapkass genuinely cares, he is a fantastic surgeon, no need to go anywhere else. My daughter had two surgeries with him, and I had one. He is an A+ doctor and human being.”

- Karin G.

“Dr. Lapkass and assistants and nurse are the most caring people and so grateful for them.”

- Lynn H.

“Kind. Explained everything well. Proactive to resolve my pain issue.”

- Ginger M.

“Great service. Appreciate things being on time.”

- Greg S.

“I have been seeing Dr. Lapkass for my knees and shoulder for the past 12 years. He takes the time to listen and has a very positive attitude. I am grateful to have found such a caring doctor.”

- B.J.J.

“Dr. Lapkass is a caring doctor. Had a post-op follow-up appointment that day for my shoulder and had hip pain. Dr. Lapkass did an exam and found that the source of pain was in my back. He had no problem taking an X-ray and referred me to his associate who is a spine specialist.”

- Melodie R.

“Dr. Lapkass is very caring and humble. It’s very rare to see a surgeon who’s not full of themselves. He listened to all my concerns and responded with care.”

- Charles H.

“I’ve now had four surgeries (all with Dr. Lapkass), and they have all been fantastic! Highly recommend AFOC! Thank you for such great care over the years.”

- Greg M.

“Dr. Lapkass and his team are caring, concerned and move quickly to help solve your health problem and get you back to feeling better. He motivates you to doing and being well. He’s kind and compassionate.”

- Elizabeth R.

“Dr. John Lapkass has treated my daughter for her hip surgeries and myself for reconstructive ankle surgery. I have nothing but praise for Dr. Lapkass and his entire staff. After having consulted with other doctors in Fairbanks and out of state, it was a breath of fresh air talking to Dr. Lapkass. He took it on himself to consult with other doctors after seeing and discussing our MRIs, and he called us in person with his opinion as to what their conclusion was. Thank you Anchorage Fracture & Orthopedic Clinic for being there. We appreciate your professionalism in all you do.”

- Karin G.