Joshua Karlin, MD

AO Spine Fellowship Trained & Board Eligible Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Dr. Karlin’s area of expertise is surgical treatment of spine disorders. This encompasses degenerative disorders of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, as well as spine trauma and metastatic disease affecting the spine.

Areas of Specialty

  • Cervical Spine
  • Thoracic Spine
  • Lumbar Spine
  • Motion Preserving Spine Surgery


Spine Surgery Fellowship – University of Missouri


University of Missouri

Education / Doctor of Medicine

Long School of Medicine (University of Texas, San Antonio)


  • AO Spine
  • North American Spine Society
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

KCOA Locations

Overland Park, Kansas
10777 Nall Ave Suite 300 Overland Park, KS 66211
Leawood, Kansas
3651 College Blvd. Leawood, KS 66211
Kansas City, Missouri
Saint Luke's Medical Plaza #1 4320 Wornall Rd., Ste. 610 Kansas City, MO 64111
Belton, Missouri
17067 S Outer Rd #301 Belton, MO 64102

Fun Fact

Dr. Karlin donned the same pair of boots every day of his five year orthopedic residency

More About Dr. Karlin

Dr. Karlin’s spine fellowship at the University of Missouri was one of the prestigious 29 AO Spine North America Fellowship sites, and one of just a handful of programs in which a young spine surgeon is mentored by both orthopaedic spine and neurosurgeons. 

This uniquely advanced training program provided Dr. Karlin with a wonderful foundation in spine surgery, and he’s grateful for the opportunity to bring this skill set to serve his Greater Kansas City community. One thing Dr. Karlin strives for is to ensure his patients leave clinic feeling more knowledgeable about not only their clinical diagnosis, but about the options to address it and why you and he decided on a certain pathway. 

Many surgical techniques that are employed to treat the cervical spine achieve the goal of removing pressure on the spinal cord and cervical nerves but requires fusing one bone to another. This might sacrifice the motion a patient currently has. Unfortunately, in some patients this trade off is necessary. Other times, newer surgical techniques that allow motion preservation can be used to accomplish the same goals and allow for a successful outcome. Dr. Karlin utilizes a number of these motion preserving approaches when appropriate, including multiple motion sparing options; some of these are cervical disc arthroplasty, cervical laminoplasty and cervical foraminotomy. When addressing problems in the lumbar spine surgically Dr. Karlin utilizes both traditional techniques and emerging technologies such as navigation and robotics. 

Patients and their families often wonder how someone winds up deciding to be a spine surgeon. Well, if you ask Dr. Karlin’s mother she’ll tell you her son put down “bone doctor” for the “what are you going to be when you grow up” exercise in first grade, and after that the rest is history. While there was an inkling early in life that working with bones and injuries was his calling, it wasn’t until Dr. Karlin experienced a career ending spine injury while playing football at TCU, did he find the calling to become an orthopaedic spine specialist. His experience and successful surgical recovery sparked the passion for spine surgery that continues to drive him today.

Outside of Work

Dr. Karlin is a proud family man, who enjoys spending his time with his wife and their three children. He and his son enjoy cheering on the Chiefs and Royals. His parents, siblings and their families still sit down for family meals most every Sunday, unless of course they are instead sitting in seats in Arrowhead.

Publications & Presentations

Transoral Odontoid Resection in Myelopathic Patient with Spinal Cord Injury – Most Challenging Fellowship Case Presentation

Virtual Fellows Forum. North America. May 25. 2021

Evaluation of Preoperative Carbohydrate Loading on All Elective Surgery Spine Patients.

Missouri Orthopaedic Institute. Columbia, Missouri. July 28, 2021.


Grand Rounds – Diabetes and Orthopaedics.


Missouri Orthopaedic Institute. Columbia, Missouri. August 7, 2019.

Determinants of Health As Predictors Of A Complication After Posterior Lumbar Fusion At A Single Tertiary Care Spine Center

2019 Global Spine Congress, Toronto Canada. May 15-19.


Determinants of Health As Predictors Of A Complication After Cervical Spine Fusion at a Single Tertiary Care Spine Center

2019 Global Spine Congress, Toronto Canada. May 15-19.


Management of Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome (TIS) in Jarcho-Levin Syndrome Using Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib (VEPTR).

Karlin, Joshua G., Roth, Megan K., Patil, Vishwas, Cordell, Davin, Trevino, Hope, Simmons, James, Joshi, Ajeya P, Campbell, Robert M. The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. Volume 96, Nov 2014.


Management of Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome (TIS) in Jarcho-Levin Syndrome Using Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib (VEPTR).

47th Annual Scoliosis Research Meeting & Course. Chicago, Illinois. September 5-9, 2012.


VEPTR use in treatment of Jarcho-Levin Syndrome: A Spondylocostal Dystotosis and Spondylothoracic Dysplasia Review.

5th International Congress on Early Onset Scoliosis (ICEOS) and Growing Spine. Orlando, FL. Nov 18-19, 2011.