Personal Note from Dr. Lonner

Dear Prospective Patient,

I want to take a moment to tell you about me and my practice and my team’s commitment to your care. My practice is dedicated to the treatment of scoliosis and other spinal deformities in the pediatric and adult patient. I have been in practice for twenty years and have treated over 20,000 patients and have done nearly 3000 spinal deformity operations. One of the findings of my research is the importance of a large clinical practice on decreasing surgical complications and reoperations.

My patients come from around the country and around the world and I have done nearly 100 operations in West Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia. The diversity of my patients has taught me one important lesson; that regardless of one’s nationality, accent, culture, or personal preferences, all patients and their families put their trust in me and my team and expect and hope for the best possible outcome, preserving function, correcting deformity, improving self image, and preventing long-term problems of untreated spinal deformity such as back pain, breathing difficulties, and physical disability and disfigurement. They also expect the highest level of dedication, commitment, and persistence even in the face of difficult cases to achieve these desired outcomes while minimizing complications. All families have these concerns in mind. Along with these universal sentiments, patients have individual goals. My associates and I recognize the importance of presenting the alternatives to patients and placing the ultimate decision for treatment in their lap with our team’s guidance. This patient-centric approach in which the concerns of the individual are at the forefront ultimately result in better outcomes as expectations are met.

A major focus of my research has been on outcomes and safety. My research focuses on clinical questions that directly pertain to the patient or to my care of the patient. I have published more than 100 articles in medical journals in the area of spinal deformity. Particularly relevant areas are two new outcomes measurement questionnaires that my team and I developed that help to better understand the patient’s perspective including The Body Image Disturbance Questionnaire (BIDQ-S) and The Truncal Anteror Asymmetry Scoliosis Questionnaire (TAASQ). These two questionnaires help practitioners of scoliosis care gain insight into how the spinal deformity directly impacts the individual patient. Other studies published include a prospective randomized clinical trial (RCT) on medications that decrease blood loss in scoliosis surgery and another RCT on the best practices for antibiotics administration following spine surgery. I have published several papers on outcomes related to surgery for Scheuermann kyphosis. Additional studies being performed prospectively by my team and me include a study on the psychological impact of scoliosis and its treatment on the patient and the impact of scoliosis surgery on sports participation. We recently completed a multicenter study on the use of surface topography, a tool I call Scoliscan, that uses light instead of x-ray to follow patients with scoliosis and found the technique to be highly accurate.

I have also been involved in advocacy on behalf of the spinal deformity patient through my work as a Board-member of the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS), finding ways to counter misinformation on the internet, better serve the needs of the patient, raise money for research and help search for novel treatments that better the lives of our patients. I represented the SRS and American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons on Capitol Hill [read more] bringing one of my patients to meet with Congresspersons and lobby the federal government for more research dollars to be spent on musculoskeletal care. I am also a board member of the Setting Scoliosis Straight Foundation [read more], which supports the research of the Harms Study Group, a leader in research on the treatment of scoliosis for the last 20 years.

Despite all of my research and advocacy work, my focus remains on patient care. You can read through some of the testimonials on this website which represent a fraction of the stories of my patients undergoing surgery or other treatment but really emphasize the positive experiences of most patients who undergo surgery for spinal deformities. My team and I are always striving to do better for our patients by constantly evaluating our results and patient satisfaction and looking for ways to do better.

I look forward to meeting you in my office.

My best,

Baron Lonner, M.D.
Director of Scoliosis Center
Professor Of Orthopaedic Surgery