Annie Negreann, Morganville, NJ — spine surgery
Let me begin by saying how wonderful Dr. Matthew Cunningham and his staff are. Dr. Cunningham is a brilliant surgeon.
Libbey Eicher, Archbold, OH — spinal fusion surgery
In April of 2005, I was first diagnosed with a mild form of idiopathic scoliosis. I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon in Toledo, Ohio and in five months, my scoliosis progressed rapidly to the point where spinal fusion surgery was necessary. I had the surgery in May of 2006 when I was 16 years old. After that surgery, I had three more corrective spine surgeries in two years. I was getting very discouraged because I felt like with each surgery, my spine was getting worse. I was in a back brace all the time and was embarrassed to have it off in front of my family because of how much I leaned to my right.
Nearly three years ago, I began to think that I would be in pain and crooked for the rest of my life but after a twist of events, we found Dr. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei at HSS. Not only is Dr. Boachie a world-renowned spinal surgeon, but he also devotes his time to performing spinal surgeries to the people in Ghana, where he is originally from. This is one of the reasons I felt he was the right surgeon for me - because I also have a heart for Africa and mission work.
In June of 2009, Dr. Boachie performed two spinal surgeries on me one week apart. In December 2010, I had another spine surgery to trim down my instrumentation.
Alan Benezra, Boulder, CO — wrist surgery
Basically, Dr. Steve K. Lee saved my life as I now live it. I'm an avid cyclist, skier, and hiker. At age 61, I broke my wrist mountain biking in Boulder, Colorado. It was an awful break with an equally horrible second opinion telling me I didn't require surgery. By 12 weeks I knew something was terribly wrong. Luckily, I got an appointment with Dr. Lee in New York City for a consult. I travel to New York City three or four times a year for work and this was one of those times.
Dr. Lee immediately diagnosed my wrist as improper bone healing, ligament damage, deformation and suggested surgery either back in Colorado or with him. I realized rather quickly that there was only one doctor I could trust to fix me and that was Dr. Lee. I flew back to New York two weeks later for surgery. I am now two weeks post-op and my wrist is anatomically correct with minimal swelling. The pins will come out in three months and I'll have full mobility for next year's biking season. Dr. Lee did a scapholunate ligament repair, carpal tunnel release, bone graft to correct the distal radius and added plates to stabilize the reconstruction.
When I saw my wrist one week post-op, I cried. Dr. Lee put his arm around me and said he'd rather see tears of joy than tears of pain. I thank him from the bottom of my heart. No one could have done what he did for me. He explained everything to me in detail, even while in the hospital waiting for anesthesia. I don't think the word, "rush," is in his vocabulary. The office staff was incredible. If you need hand surgery, there is no other.
Roseanne Kenney, Florham Park, NJ — shoulder surgery
I had been suffering with a "frozen shoulder" for nearly nine months. I had tried all the suggested methods to ease the pain, but it intensified. I then came in for a consultation with Dr. Altchek. He was very calming and informative. He let me know what to expect, should I choose surgery. I needed to improve my quality of life, so I decided to have the surgery. From that day forward, I had amazing care. I was put in touch with his P.A. I was able to contact him whenever I had a question before, or after the surgery.
Carol Venuto, Bloomsburg, PA — knee surgery
By the time I saw Dr. Figgie, my knees were in bad shape. I was no longer able to enjoy the trips I loved so much. During a family reunion last summer, we stayed at a historic victorian hotel alongside beautiful falls, but I suffered constantly going up and down the stairs (there were no elevators). I could not do much hiking at all there, nor at our favorite ocean/redwoods spot in Northern, CA.
Ronald Lukoff, Oyster Bay, NY — ankle distraction
I had been suffering from bone-on-bone pain in my left ankle for ten years. It stemmed from a broken ankle I suffered 58 years ago, I am now 66. The pain became so unbearable that I considered having the ankle fused. I was not a candidate for an ankle replacement because my ankle had become too deformed to line up straight. I was opposed to fusing the ankle, but felt as though I had no other choice. I must have seen 25 of the top doctors in New York at all the major hospitals. I got very lucky when I got the name of Dr. S. Robert Rozbruch, who did an ankle distraction. I was in a fixator for 3 months, which was not pleasant, but was certainly manageable. When it was removed, the bone-on-bone pain was gone and the cartilage had regenerated. My pain was gone, and I was able to do normal activities again. Now, one year later, I am playing golf and some tennis, and pain is a distant memory. Thank you Dr. Rozbruch.
Lynne Cullinane, Titusville, NJ — hip, spine and neck surgery
In 1987 Dr. Eduardo Salvati replaced my right hip; in January, 2011, Dr. James Farmer operated on my lumbar spine; and in August, Dr. Farmer will repair my cervical stenosis. I'm beginning to feel like a regular! In every case my care has been exemplary and the results have been wonderful. The hip and lumbar surgeries freed me from pain and restored mobility.
Emma D. Dryden, New York, NY — back and neck surgery
My experience with the surgeon, Dr. Charles Goodwin, and staff of HSS was exceptional. In November 2010, I underwent a lower back disk fusion followed six weeks later, in December 2010, by a neck disk fusion. After nearly a year of hard-to-manage pain caused particularly by the lower back disk problem, the surgery relieved the pain and within four months of the surgeries, I was back to jogging in Central Park.
Emmanuel Tabi, Brooklyn, NY — humerus lengthening
My story cuts across from the continent of Africa to the great city of New York, USA. Growing up in Ghana, I came to realize how my congenital disorder of one arm longer than the other affected my self-esteem and interaction with other children of my age. However, in coming to the USA and particularly New York, I was determined to find a solution to this disorder. If anything can happen, it must be here in New York. Luckily enough, after about twenty years in the city, my friend mentioned that his wife has had a procedure done by Dr. S. Robert Rozbruch at HSS. I didn't hesitate to make an appointment to see him. My first meeting with him was very encouraging. In July 2008, I had this abnormality corrected, and since then, I've felt very happy about the whole procedure. Dr. Rozbruch and his team were excellent and showed a high level of professionalism with their work. The hospital staff at HSS was phenomenal. HSS will always be a place to recommend anyone for any orthopedic procedure. I have been really pleased with the procedure and I continue to enjoy my new humerus length by going to the gym, swimming and doing other exercises without being ashamed of exposing my upper body. Nobody recognizes the differences in the lengths of the two arms thanks to Dr. Rozbruch and his team of experts. Continue to do the good work.
Beverly Kelly, Manasquan, NJ — bilateral total hip replacement
For many years, I suffered with pain and stiffness in both of my hips. I got several opinions and they all suggested total hip replacement. At HSS, Dr. Bryan Nestor suggested bilateral total hip replacement. It was the best thing I ever did. I got it over with in one surgery. Recovery wasn't as bad as I had imagined.
Homero Villarreal, New Canaan, CT — total knee replacement
On April 6th, 2011, I had total knee replacement with Dr. Steven Haas. I had been battling with this for over 60 years due to a misalignment of the knee at birth, so this seemed to be the only option. Dr. Haas operated on me in 1996 when he was still relatively young and when it came time for total knee replacement, I thought of no one else. Before surgery I watched Dr. Haas’ webcast of total knee replacement from 2009 and was very impressed. What I learned is that he is not only an excellent surgeon, he is an artist in the operating room, molding and finding the best parts for the patient. His flexibility to make decisions and quickly adapt as he moves along with the process really impressed me. I was sold because this surgery should not be “cookie cutter” so speak, but tailor made to suit the individual. What I loved about the experience was the music in the operating room as you are rolled in and the humor. In 1996 it was rock and in 2011 it’s county and western. I smiled as I went into surgery thinking how time had changed Dr. Haas’ taste in music. So far I have been very happy with the results and hope he has given me parts that will last my lifetime.
Jean Stellato, New Windsor, NY — total knee replacement
From entering HSS on January 31, 2011 for total knee replacement surgery, I felt I was in very good hands. Every single hospital person I came in contact with was pleasant and helpful. The admitting personnel were very efficient and answered every question I had. I did not wait very long before I was whisked away to my little cubicle where I was to be prepared for surgery. And once again, the nurses and other personnel were so calming, efficient, and happy that they eased any fears I may have had. Every question I had was answered with honesty and everyone I came in contact with was very knowledgeable and ready to assist me (and my family) in any way they could.
Thanks to Dr. Mark Figgie and staff, my surgery was successful. When I awoke in my room, the perfect working staff of HSS was at its best. I was cared for with kindness, compassion, and humor. The nurses were always available, explaining everything they were doing and again answering all my questions and giving me encouragement. I felt so well cared for. I am sure I am not the only one who felt this way. Everyone one did their job - the people who cleaned my room, the people who brought the food, the nurses, physical therapy people, and MD's. Everyone had a smile on their faces and wished me well.
Deborah Camiscoli-Spedick, Toms River, NJ — hip arthroscopy
I had a hip arthroscopy with Dr. Struan Coleman for torn labrum. I had the surgery on a Tuesday evening and I was home in New Jersey by 1 AM. I was back to working as a physician on crutches on Monday.
Bob Rosenberg, Lawrence, NY — shoulder repair
I was scheduled for a shoulder repair.
Theresa LaRocca-Napolitano, New York, NY — shoulder rotator cuff repair, foot surgery
During the past six months, I have had two operative procedures at HSS. As a retired perioperative nurse, I do admit to being somewhat critical at times. However, my experiences at HSS were flawless. This includes not only my experiences on the days of surgery but also my pre and post operative visits to Dr. Scott Rodeo and Dr. Matthew Roberts.
Lynn Romano, Red Hook, NY — bilateral knee replacements
I could not have been in a better facility. From start to finish, Dr. Friedrich Boettner and his staff could not have been more compassionate, professional and caring. As a registered nurse, I knew where I wanted to be treated for my bilateral knee replacements and traveling 100 miles from my home in Red Hook was worth it. I recommend HSS to my colleagues and as a case manager for a large insurance company, I do it with my patients.
Georgia Philios, Teaneck, NJ — total hip replacement
I had a total hip replacement on Dec 8, 2010 by Dr. Michael Alexiades. Dr. McKinsey was my internist at HSS.
Michelle Paone, Fair Haven, NJ — bilateral carpel tunnel surgery
I had bilateral carpel tunnel surgery Feb 15, 2011 with Dr. Aaron Daluiski. Two weeks later, I was back to work, using my newly pain free hands! My family, friends and clients could not believe it and were impressed with my recovery time.
Paul Deres, Canaan, NY — bilateral hip replacement
I needed both of my hips replaced. The doctors I saw locally would not do both at the same time, but Dr. Robert Buly at HSS said that he does this all the time. I had both of them done on February 1st. By the end of the first week, I was walking up and down stairs and by the end of February, I was driving my car. I started to play golf again on May 1st.
Sherry Nehmer, New York, NY — spine procedures and physical therapy
I brought my aging, painful back to HSS and placed it in the hands of physiatrist Dr. Jennifer Solomon, of the Women's Sports Medicine Department. She and her staff were relentless in searching for a means of relief for me, through various up-to-date medical procedures and physical therapy. But that's just the start of the story. One of the most important parts of HSS is the nursing staff. Never in my life have I encountered such depth of skill, intelligence and sincere caring as I have with each and every one of the nurses. I'm not exaggerating; from pre-procedure check-ins to recovery room, every nurse I encountered was at the top of her or his game. I knew I was in good hands. The combination of skillful direction from Dr. Solomon and her associates, the hands-on talents of Betty Chow at the Integrative Care Center where I received physical therapy, and especially the care given by terrific nurses have not only improved my physical condition, but have made me an advocate for HSS. Great work, everyone.
Sylvia L. Sherman, Briarwood, NY — total knee replacement
On January 17, 2011, I had a total knee replacement. This was after suffering with painful arthritis for years and being bow legged on one side for two years. I had a great surgeon, Dr. Russell E. Windsor and terrific nursing care as well as good pain relief and lots of tender loving care. After a week, I went to the Hospital for Joint Disease on 17th street for inpatient rehab. It was tough, but worked wonderfully. When I left after another week, I could walk without even a cane. I continued therapy first at home and then in the rehab center for two months and have had such great results, freedom to walk where I wish, and freedom from pain. This procedure was a blessing and I thank everyone involved especially my doctor and the staff at HSS.
Lynn Stephens, Ridgefield Park, NJ — spine surgery
December 7, 2010 was the beginning of a new life, thanks to Dr. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei. I have been in his care since 2002, being seen every few years for chronic low back pain due to scoliosis. My original surgery was in 1981 and I did very well until 2000. He suggested revision surgery a few years ago, but I wasn’t ready to commit so I tried conservative procedures, which helped temporarily. At my appointment last year, I scheduled surgery and never looked back. The pain was getting worse. I couldn’t sleep or sit and nothing was controlling it. That was no way to live. I had degenerative disease, facet arthrosis, and spondylolistheses.
Dr. Boachie removed part of the Harrington rod, replaced it with two rods, cages, and screws to stabilize my spine with interbody fusion and pre-sacral fusion L5-S1. The recovery was challenging, but I did my homework, knew what I was up against, and I was ready. I had an uneventful recovery, and exactly three months later, I returned to work commuting to New York City. Lindy Maier, the nurse in the office, was so helpful pre and post-op. She would answer my emails whenever I had a question and reassured me that what I was experiencing was the normal course of recovery. Words cannot express how grateful I am to Dr. Boachie and everyone at HSS.
Edie Leff, Buffalo, NY — osteotomy
I had polio as a child. After many surgeries over a thirty year period, my walking was getting increasingly more difficult. I was walking hunched over and holding on to my right leg not to have it collapse underneath me. I started visiting doctors in western New York and Canada only to be told that either nothing could be done or something might be possible but they could not help me. Finally, a doctor suggested HSS. Calling the hospital, I was directed to Dr. S. Robert Rozbruch. We met and he told me that he could help by performing an open wedge osteotomy with a correction of the varus. Surgery was a life changing experience. Instead of being relegated to a life of walking with assistance or worse, I now walk with ease completing tasks which once seemed daunting.
Do you know someone who could benefit from reading these inspiring stories? Click on the icons below. Thanks for sharing!
Please consider becoming an ambassador for the Hospital by sharing your experience with those around you. Your words of encouragement give reassurance to others considering HSS for their care.