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Featured Physician: Michael Planalp, M.D.

Michael Planalp, M.D. is a board eligible Orthopaedic surgeon and fellowship trained spine surgeon. He is originally from Cincinnati, graduating from Wyoming High School before attending the University of Notre Dame. He subsequently studied medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at William Beaumont in Detroit and obtained fellowship certification at the Twin Cities Spine Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Dr. Planalp’s interests include minimally invasive surgery, adult degenerative conditions, as well as scoliosis and spinal deformity. He also has a passion for orthopedic trauma and fracture care. His personal surgical philosophy follows the principle of ‘less is more,’ which has developed through extensive fellowship training in minimally invasive and muscle sparing spine surgical techniques.

What is your specialty?

Spine Surgery

What attracted you to being a doctor or your specialty?

Growing up, I was always most interested in science classes. Medicine, and specifically orthopedic spine surgery, was the best avenue where I could help people, have fun, and be a science nerd all at the same time.

Do you have a favorite/most memorable case you’ve worked on?

Not a specific case, but the most fulfilling cases are those where the patient is noticeably improved immediately after they wake up from surgery. It’s like a breath of fresh air for the patient and a joy for me to see.

What made you want to work at Beacon Orthopaedics?

I really like the people and my co-physicians, who all have a great work ethic and have been a joy to be around.

Do you have any advice for young people who want to be doctors when they grow up?

It’s a lot of work, and the finish line can seem very far off, but it is all worth it in the end.

What is your most memorable sports fan moment? What team and what happened?

As a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and an ex football player, I have enjoyed the 2020 season as a ray of sunshine in an otherwise dark year.

What is your signature dance move?

Growing up, I was known for the Planalp shuffle, which is a bad attempt, by a bad dancer, to show some rhythm.

If you were a pair of shoes, what would you be?

Hiking boots. Ready for anything.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

You can’t go wrong with pizza. There are basically endless topping combinations, and even bad pizza is still good food!

What’s your favorite comfort food?

Ice Cream. It picks you up when you’re down, and cools you off on a hot day.

Do you have a funny orthopedic or sports medicine joke?

You can trust me as your spine surgeon, I’ve got your back.