View Full Version : Dr. Lonner of NYU in NYC

02-04-2012, 07:56 AM
Hi all! I had a consult this week with Dr. Lonner who agreed with Dr. Boachie's opinion of me having surgery. They both said the exact same fusion, etc. T-3 to sacrum with pelvic fixations. I liked Dr. Lonner alot - took a tremendous amount of time to talk to me and explain the details. I feel more confident, that as terrified as I am about "the surgery", it is something I need to do. Now my big question is who is the right surgeon, etc.

Dr. Lonner takes me insurance fully; Dr. Boachie's office works with your insurance company, but no guarantees on what will be covered, etc. I was wondering if anyone here has had surgery with Dr. Lonner and can give me some feedback on the results, his after-care follow-up, and if he is in fact "one of the best".

I live alone, have no family and depending on how long my recovery is, not sure if I will have a job when I get back (I am an admin). I am thinking of doing the surgery early next year in the winter when I can recover in the cold weather and then be more mobile in the spring. I see Dr. Boachie for my second follow-up in July. I want the best surgeon, but also know that nothing is guaranteed - even with "the best". And I will need money for homecare and possibily caring me financially through post-up.

I would so appreciate if anyone can offer some feedback on Dr. Lonner/NYU. Thank you so very much. I have had scolosis all my life, but now at 54 years old, my curves have progressed and I have pain in my lower right side daily. I can live with it, but it is a constant, and I know if I don't have the surgery, it will only get worse over time. Thank you in advance.

02-04-2012, 10:21 AM
In recovery, what happens to many if not all is we freeze from the meds. I had set records on my gas bill since I had to have things warm all the time. 74-76 degrees. If I had a season to pick, my recovery would be in the summer.

Having your surgery covered “fully” has a lot of weight to it. Expect the bills to roll, with minimal accountability. I had $50 bills coming from the hospital every month for about a year till I called and got snappy with them. It was ridiculous. My total co-pays were about $2000 for 2 surgeries...765K total 4 years ago.

Dr Lonner is a top scoli surgeon, his name is mentioned here frequently.

I also did my recovery alone....there are a few of us here. I basically ran out of the hospital after 10 days, and weaned to orals at home. I would not recommend this, if they want you to go to a re-hab facility, do it.

Insurance companies do like it when you leave, and will support sending nursing and PT people to your home....its so much cheaper for them. I had people with me about 2 hours per day, mainly to act as gophers since you cannot drive on meds. After I was off meds at 6 weeks, I started driving slowly. If you live in Manhattan, wait another 2 months. He he.

Saving money and preparing for this is something we need to do. I would plan on at least 6 months off work.

Your x-rays will look like mine, only one level shorter at the top and with smaller iliac screws. (the 2 big ones at the bottom)

02-04-2012, 12:33 PM
Doesn't FMLA guarantee a job in one's company upon return?

02-04-2012, 03:18 PM
hi terrik
i started seeing Dr Lonner about 7 years ago....
he began monitoring my curves....
if/when i have surgery, i would like him to be my surgeon....
i have seen Dr Boachie for consult (paid cash), Dr Errico, Dr Neuwirth, & a couple
of other surgeons in Manhattan with whom i was not impressed...
i also saw Dr Anand for consult in LA, 2 years ago (had to pay him cash as well)

"Admoul"...Ann...had surgery with Dr Lonner.....
you can look her up on forum, if you type "Admoul" into "search"


02-04-2012, 04:30 PM
Doesn't FMLA guarantee a job in one's company upon return?

Hi Linda - FMLA guarantees your position for 3 months. After three months your position is not guaranteed. If they do not have a comparable position (at least in my firm), they can terminate your position. However, I will have 6 months of short term disability so that if I can't return in the 3 month period, and the doctor deems I am unable to, I am hoping that I will be covered under short term disability. If I than tell my company I want to return after six months or shorter, they can say they have no job and then I believe I get unemployment. I wish I worked for a firm that actually "was more caring", but unfortunately, they will most likely get a temp and not hold my position. But, I am ramblilng.....

This is one of my concerns obviously about the surgery because I know that not only will my life change physically as a result and the surgery is so huge, etc., but I live alone and do not have family...so not having the security of a job at the end of all this is terrifying. Another reason why I was so happy to learn that Dr. Lonner does take my insurance. I just want the best surgeon and want to make sure I am not compromising $ for the right surgeon. Everyone talks about how great Dr. Boachie is and I think he is super...have you had anay experience with Dr. Lonner's patients? I know there are no guarantees even with the best.

Thanks Linda!

02-04-2012, 05:40 PM
when surgeons agree on what is needed with the fusion surgery, then i guess
a patient can look at skills, number of surgeries the surgeon has done (more the better)
and, IF it matters to the patient, personality...
i like Lonner for all those qualifications...
also, i personally, for me, like the minimally invasive procedure for lumbar scoli....
Dr L offered to do "partial minimally invasive" for me....

question....NYU??? Dr Lonner used to use Lenox Hill and another hospital, then dropped Lenox Hill it and used,
i think, Special Surgery....?? didnt know of him ever using NYU...but havent seen him since April 2010


02-04-2012, 08:22 PM
question....NYU??? Dr Lonner used to use Lenox Hill and another hospital, then dropped Lenox Hill it and used,
i think, Special Surgery....?? didnt know of him ever using NYU...but havent seen him since April 2010


Yes, Jess - he operates out of NYU - both the big hospital or the one for Orthopedic Surgery on 17th Street. He said he operates out of both of those hospitals. The only difference so far between what Dr. Boachie said and Dr. Lonner said is the rods used. Dr. Lonner said he doesn't use titanium rods, only titanium skews, and Dr. Boachie uses titanium. That is a bit of a concern as I thought titanium is better and lighter. So, I need to find out if there is a way I can get titanium. Wondering if it is because the insurance company won't pay for titanium (more expensive) and if there is a way to request it - but not sure of the price.

Does anyone know if there is a better outcome with titanium rods?

I did like that Dr. Lonner took so much time with me and geniunely seemed to care; his office staff was also very kind and attentive. I gather you feel the same way.

02-04-2012, 08:32 PM
Hi Terrik,

I have no personal experience with Dr. Lonner, but having been around scoliosis for quite a while (and living in NYC), I can tell you that his reputation (and that of NYU) are excellent!! My son's doctor, Dr. Betz (regarded as one of the top pediatric scoli specialists) thinks highly of him as well. I think you will be in incredibly competent hands. Best of luck to you!

02-04-2012, 09:27 PM
well, that's different....no titanium...
because 2 years ago as of this April, Dr Lonner told me if i WANTED titanium, which i did at the time, he would use
it, even though he preferred something else...maybe stainless steel...i really don't remember which metal
he preferred for me....
it is possible IF you request something, he might go along with it...just maybe....
at least that is how he was with me back then...
i am thinking of getting an appt for this spring...
i want to show him my new X rays...since he did the X ray April 2010, he would be best judge of
any changes, like a change from the 61 lumbar curve he saw then to the possible 70 degrees now...
he also did a flexibility X ray....laying down...and i found out that, without gravity, i have no flexiblity!!
didn't realize before then just how much gravity helps when trying to bend!!!