Donald J. Lao, DO

Orthopedic Surgeon - Joint Replacement & Reconstruction, Trauma
★★★★★ ★★★★★
Specializing In Hip & Knee Replacement
Fax: 719-623-1051

Donald J. Lao, DO, a board-eligible orthopedic surgeon, is a native of Utah and joined The Colorado Center for Orthopedic Excellence in 2023. His clinical expertise is in primary and complex revision hip and knee replacement, prosthetic joint infections, and orthopedic trauma, particularly fractures occurring around hip and knee replacements. He pursued additional fellowship training in minimally invasive hip and knee replacement surgery, including anterior approach total hip arthroplasty, partial knee replacement, and robotic-assisted hip and knee surgery.

Dr. Lao graduated from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, ID, where he was a captain and all-conference selection for the varsity basketball team. He graduated with a degree in biology and a minor in chemistry. He then obtained his medical degree at A.T. Still University in Mesa, AZ, where he was selected to the Sigma Sigma Phi osteopathic service fraternity and served as his school’s chapter president for two years. He was also selected to the Gold Humanism Honor Society. He completed his orthopedic internship and residency at Research Medical Center, affiliated with Kansas City University, and served as chief resident in his final year. He then completed a rigorous fellowship in hip and knee replacement and orthopedic trauma through the University of Minnesota at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN.

Dr. Lao is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics, the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, and an Emerging Leader in the American Orthopedic Association.

In his free time, Dr. Lao enjoys getting outdoors and spending time with his wife, daughter, and dog.


  • Fellowship: University of Minnesota/Regions Hospital Combined Adult Reconstruction and Trauma fellowship in St. Paul, MN, under Dr. Scott Marston and Dr. Peter Cole
  • Residency: Research Medical Center July 2017 – June 2022
    • Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program
    • Kansas City University. Kansas City, MO
    • Program Director: Charles Orth, DO
  • Medical School: MD: A.T. Still University – School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona July 2013 – May 2017 Mesa, AZ
  • Undergraduate School: BS: Lewis-Clark State College, Lewiston, ID. August 2010 – May 2012 – BS Biology, Chemistry minor, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK August 2009 – May 2010, Snow College, Ephraim, UT August 2007 – May 2009

Board Certifications

  • Board-Eligible – American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons (ABOS)

Memberships & Organizations

  • Gold Humanism Honor Society member 2015 – Present


Dr. Lao's Reviews
Natalie PierceNatalie Pierce
23:47 26 Jun 24
Everyone has been very informative, professional, patient and kind. I’m in the believe everyone cared about my care comfort and recovery of a right full knee replacement
Brenda DentonBrenda Denton
23:18 13 Jun 24
Joe FitzgibbonsJoe Fitzgibbons
19:30 30 May 24
Dr Lao did a great job explaining what would happen with my procedure. He has great follow-up post-op and has an excellent bedside manner.
Curt ReuleckeCurt Reulecke
19:26 15 May 24
Doctor Lao and staff are amazing! Extremely thorough, great communication and quick to respond to any questions and or concerns.
Dan MartinDan Martin
01:26 05 Apr 24
Dennis BDennis B
18:57 04 Apr 24
New right hip! Very kind and listened to all my concerns. He did a great job
billyq stanleybillyq stanley
18:15 28 Mar 24
Dr Lao recommended for me to only have a partial knee replacement and I am glad I did. I am 7 weeks after surgery and I am doing great.
Tom PhillipsTom Phillips
01:15 22 Mar 24
Dr Lao is the BEST! Caring, professional, attentive; everything you look for in a physician. Thanks Dr Lao!
Fred FredFred Fred
22:52 21 Mar 24
Absolutely wonderful. Dr Lao did an outstanding procedure. Before and post care has been great!
Mark MooreMark Moore
23:10 08 Mar 24
Friendly staff from the front desk and beyond.Professional and knowledgeable nurses and doctors.Nice to be treated like a person and not just another number.
Debbie EDebbie E
23:54 29 Feb 24
Second visit with Dr Lao. Another great experience! As mentioned before, they have an organized and friendly staff. Dr. Lao listened to my concerns and explained everything to me in a clear manner. Would recommend him to anyone with knee issues.
shayna Jonesshayna Jones
23:51 22 Feb 24
Dr. Lao is personable and a professional. He listened to what I had said and answered questions. Excellent doctor.
Chris WaldripChris Waldrip
23:45 08 Feb 24
Dr. Lao is an outstanding doctor & surgeon! He completed my hip replacement and I am extremely happy with both my new hip and with my overall experience at the Orthopedic Centers of Colorado (OCC). Not only is Dr. Lao a very skilled surgeon, he is a great communicator and went over all of my x-rays in detail with me and explained what the current condition of my hip was. Instead of rushing through the process of scheduling me for surgery, he took the time to ask me about the physical demands of my work/life and what outcome I would like to have. He then laid out the options I had (surgical and non-surgical), and provided me his professional guidance.Another thing I very much appreciate is even after the surgery was done, his approach does not change during follow-up visits. He is very thorough and still gives you all the time you need to ask questions.I also greatly appreciate all of the staff at the OCC on Research in COS. Every single person I have interacted with there has been extremely nice and very helpful each step of the way.This was the fourth major surgery I’ve had, and I can honestly say this was the best experience I have ever had by far! I am so thankful that they accept VA patients, 10 out of 10 would recommend the OCC if you need any orthopedic care. And if you’re in the market for a new hip, I don’t think you’ll find anyone better than Dr. Lao.
Ed KafelEd Kafel
01:11 23 Jan 24
I recently had an appointment with Dr. Lao at Orthopedic Centers of Colorado. All aspects of the appointment were great to include the receptionist at check-in, medical technicians, and particularly Dr. Lao who is professional and discussed our options clearly.
Dr. Lao's Locations