View Full Version : New here - need info on docs Errico, Lonner, Boachie, Neuwirth

07-08-2011, 06:54 PM
Hi Everyone, I've been reading for some time through the forums and have gleaned lots of useful info - thanks! I am considering surgery as my curves progressed 9 degrees in 18 months and I have considerable pain. They are now 50 lumbar and 30 thoracic as well as a kyphosis and a listhesis. I saw Dr. Neuwirth and liked him very much, but am considering seeing other doctors just to see what they would do. Doctor Neuwirth said he would fuse from T5 to Sacrum with A/P surgery on two consecutive days. From searching the forums it seems like Errico, Lonner, Boachie and Neuwirth are used fairly often in the NYC area. I live upstate and it is not so easy getting to the city, but would like to see at least one or two more. If anyone can provide info on these four doctors or anyone else in the NYC area, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

07-08-2011, 11:26 PM

I believe that I have read here that Dr Boachie doesnít do anteriorís anymore. Maybe someone will chime in on this. If you could get in to see him at some point, that might not be a bad idea.

A/Pís are not something you want to rush on.....

Its good that you are posting! Welcome!

07-09-2011, 05:05 AM
hi Ripley
i liked Neuwirth, too, when i met him...he suggested the same 2 day approach to me, but we changed from T4-sacrum to T11-sacrum, since i get botox shots in my upper spine that help me with muscle spasms, and since my worst pain and damage to spine for me is in lower spine...
i have met with all surgeons you mentioned...and several more
Boachie is one of the top scoli surgeons in the world...

Lonner is my favorite of all i saw...he has followed my curves for years, and i think he is one of the most skilled and also one of the nicest surgeons around...he does minimally invasive surgery approach for scoli and for discs...not all of the scoli surgeons do...
Errico has a great reputation...

there are patients on this forum who have had surgery with each of the surgeons you mentioned...if you do an advanced search by each surgeons name, you will probably be able to find more info on each...

i haven't had surgery...yet...but if/when i do, i will only consider minimally invasive approach for myself...that is just my preference and opinion....there are those on forum who differ with my opinion...

i wish you luck in your search...i believe you will know when you have found the right surgeon for you...fortunately, NYC has some of the best doctors in the world!!!
as a born and raised and lived there most of my life New Yorker, i swear i have no prejudice in favor of NYC...well, maybe just a little...(wink)


07-10-2011, 08:26 AM
Thanks so much for the replies Ed and Jess. I have an appointment with Dr. Boachie in a couple of weeks - he does not take my insurance so I won't be able to use him for the surgery. I'm also going to see either Lonner or Errico - can't decide which. Thanks for taking the time to respond!

Jess - I was wondering how much correction Dr. Neuwirth said you could get from the surgery. He told me about 50%, which bothers me. I was wondering if he was more conservative than some of the others docs.

Ed - I took a look at your pictures - wow! You look great - incredibly straight! I'm looking forward to that!

07-10-2011, 07:19 PM

I had twin 70ís and was told that after they went in, I could be fused ďas isĒ. This is something to consider if you are around the age of 50. Usually, in our age bracket, corrections run about 50%.

When I was in the hospital and they showed me my x-rays it looked like I was corrected straight as an arrow, but upon further examination you can still see my reduced curves. They look like they are about 25 degrees. I never asked because it really doesnít matter. Its all about being pain free, stopping the curves and accepting your outcome.

I spent many days up in the Thousand Islands through the years, just wondering how up, in the upstate are you? Will you be driving route 17? If so, stop at the Roscoe diner for dessert. Itís a must!


07-11-2011, 12:55 AM
hi ripley
all the surgeons i consulted with told me pretty much the same thing...they all told me, in my case (and everyone is different) that they expected to get a minimum 50% improvement....most thought outcome would be better than that...

personally, if you are choosing between them, i would see Dr Lonner...he does offer minimally invasive, or at least partially minimally invasive approach, to patients for whom it would be appropriate...i am not a doctor, so i cannot say what would be right for you...but Dr Lonner certainly could....when i saw Errico, he was not offering MI approach...though i did see him over 4 years ago..so he might be doing it now...i do not know...
what i can say is that of all the surgeons i saw, i liked Dr Lonner the most...both for his skills and his kindness and compassion....that is my own personal opinion...

i believe that you will connect with at least one surgeon you feel most comfortable with, and you will know who will be best for you....IF skills are equal, & you have been seeing some of the top people in the field, then rapport can make a big difference!

best of luck...

07-11-2011, 09:09 AM
As you can see from my signature I had very severe curves which really didn't bother me all that much until I reached age 50. Lived in denial for a long time. I had consulted with a scoli expert at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and then went to see Dr. Lonner in NY which was 4 hours from my home in south central PA. We made our decision to proceed with surgery after just our first meeting with Dr. Lonner. Both my husband and I felt very comfortable with his recommendations and approach. I was fortunate that I only had the posterior surgery. Based on what I've read here, having both anterior/posterior is a longer and more challenging recovery. You want the best outcome for your individual situation and factors like age, flexibility of your spine on bending x-rays, previous surgeries, degenerative conditions, quality of life etc. all have to be considered. Please feel free to private message me if you want more feedback on my experience with Dr. Lonner. Good luck!

07-12-2011, 05:29 AM
I used Dr. Neuwirth and am very happy. I'm not sure if he is more conservative, because both he and Dr. Boachie estimated that I'd end up with 50%-60% correction, which is about what I got. See the numbers below. What I do know is that I had a good recovery, and I'm still doing better and better as time goes on. It will be 3 years in October for me.

07-12-2011, 10:27 AM
Thanks so much to everyone. After such glowing comments about Dr. Lonner both here and in other threads, I'm going to make an appointment with him. It's so good to get feedback. Seems as though they are all really top surgeons, so probably can't go wrong.

(Ed - We're not as far up as the 1000 islands - closer to Albany area. Every once in a while we're on 17, so I'll definitely try the diner! I know stopping pain and progression is key - but as long as it has to be done, looking good with the most correction is a nice bonus! :) )

07-12-2011, 03:03 PM
as a relative newbie here, having accepted the fact I need to have the surgery now, and having had 4 consultations, my 2 cents on deciding the 'who' to do it: following this forum (a live, vital discussion group), 4 names continually come up: Neuwirth, Boachie, Errico, Lonner. In consideration of the anectodal recommendations, solid reputations, listings with SRS, etc, my feelings tells me that any of these 4 top scoli surgeons would be a good and wise choice for surgery... Although I am sure there are other top scoli surgeons in this region, as well.
I have my own feelings and responses to a couple of the above listed, but also have read glowing referrals here. I'm sure you could do no harm in any of the 4, get a second consult, and decide who you feel comfortable with the most. It's a matter of trust.

Karen Ocker
07-12-2011, 03:40 PM
I had a very complex revision with Boachie. Although he is not in any plan the office works with you to use your out-of-network benefits. Those are usually higher. The discussion can be made if surgery is scheduled. What's paid out of pocket depends on the individual plan. It's usually doable. You can check with others who have used him.

I had an anterior/posterior(not usually done as often now by Dr. B) 9 years ago at age 60--pain free.

Go with your gut.