Patient Stories

One of the best ways to learn about a surgeon is often to hear from actual patients. Browse the gallery to see actual cards and letters from our patients. You can also read articles and see x-rays and photos.

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Bekhruz Bazarov
Grew over two inches as a
result of his corrective surgery

Play Video

Sophie
Grew three inches as a result of
corrective surgery

Play Video

Ruth
Spine curvature reduced from
nearly 100° to 20°. Ruth grew

Play Video

Patient Stories of Hope & Success

  • 11 Year Old Competitive Dancer Returns to Action

    See Mya’s Results

    Mya is 11 years old and a competitive dancer who trains 20 hours a week. She has been dancing since the age of 4 and has dreams of becoming a professional dancer. She has obtained many regional and national awards and scholarships—dance is her true passion.

    Mya was diagnosed with scoliosis in March of 2017. We were scared and devastated and Mya's only words were "Will I be able to dance and achieve my goals as a professional dancer?"

    I began many days and nights researching options other than spinal fusion and after many consultations, we found Dr. Lonner, who performed Anterior Scoliosis Correction on August 1st, 2017. As my daughter says, “Dr. Lonner is my hero! He is my miracle come true!"

    She is now 8 weeks post-op and back to dance with her flexible spine and it feels as if she has not even had surgery.I cried tears of joy when I watched her dance and she is now living her life brace free, pain free and most of all, doing what she loves most...DANCE! She will turn 12 on October 16th and this will be the best Birthday yet!

    We cannot thank Dr. Lonner and his staff enough for the wonderful personal care we received and for allowing Mya to continue to live out her dreams!

    Mya’s Thank you to Dr. Lonner

    is incredibly excited to return to her passion of dancing better than ever after her surgery.

    Mya’s X- Rays

    Through Anterior Scoliosis Correction, Dr. Lonner was able to correct Mya’s 49° thoracic curve to 13°.

    This is the first dance Mya has rehearsed since her surgery. She is 7 weeks post op and feeling great!

    “My dream is to become a professional dancer. I hope someday this will come true. I guess we don’t always know what the future will bring but this is my favorite quote: If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it!!” – Mya Montgomery

  • Shelby's ASC Video Journal

    Watch Shelby describe her journey through discovery, surgery, and recovery.



  • Three Months Postop - She Hits it Out of the Park

    After correction of a 98 degree curve, watch her own the stage at an event opening.

    3 Months Postop

    Following significant surgery, we're pleased to share this video of one our young patients singing the National Anthem at an event a mere 3 months after surgery. She hits it out of the park.

    We could not be more pleased and proud of her.

  • Thoracic and Thoracolumbar Idiopathic Scoliosis

    Extreme Surgery is a life changer. Includes before and after x-rays.

    DG is a 50 year old woman who was suffering extreme spinal pain from thoracic and thoracolumbar idiopathic scoliosis.

    Dr. Lonner performed a posterior spinal fusion with segmental instrumentation to correct the scoliosis which was causing unbearable severe back pain. At the 6 months post-operative visit, her 50-degree thoracolumbar curvature and 49-degree thoracic curvature were negligible. And her 17-degree thoracolumbar rotational prominence, the bump on her back, was corrected to 1 degree with surgery.

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    DG is thrilled with her surgical outcome as is her husband.

  • Revision Surgery

    Revision Surgery featured in Mount Sinai Health System Publication.

    Dr. Lonner's care was featured in a recent article on the Live Well New York website.

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    To quote from the article... "For many years, Judith suffered from increasingly debilitating back pain that radiated down her right side and into her leg, to the point she couldn’t even walk anymore. In 2010, she was diagnosed with lower back scoliosis and underwent a corrective spinal fusion surgery to straighten her spine. While that surgery helped alleviate her hip and leg pain, other pains and problems soon emerged."

    Read the entire article and learn how Dr. Lonner was able to give the patient a normal life."

  • Tap Dancing 6 weeks After surgery?

    Rachel shows us how it's done and tells her story.

    Testimonial for Dr. Lonner

    So, I started dancing when I was three. When I was seven, I found out that I had a hemivertebrae in my spine that caused congenital scoliosis (scoliosis caused by abnormalities in the spine present at birth). But did anyone really think that was going to stop me? That is when Dr. Lonner began to follow my case. During that time, I continued to dance, was part of the Rockland Youth Dance Ensemble for many years, and even made the Division 1 Dance Team at the University of Hartford.

    About a year ago, at the age of nineteen, I began to have significant pain in my back and found out that it was because my curve had started to progress again. At this point, we made a decision with Dr. Lonner to do spinal fusion surgery from T3 to L3 to prevent further progression and relieve my pain. The surgery went well, I was released early from the hospital on good behavior (or something like that!) and at 11 days post-op. I found myself tap-dancing without realizing it. Soon after, I found myself in a split again, nearly giving my mother a heart-attack. I was also showing people the photos of the inside of my back that had been taken during my surgery at my request. My friends started joking around with me that I now have a theme song, "Titanium" by David Guetta. At this point, Dr. Lonner fixed many of my problems, but created two new ones I did not expect him to. The first one was that I had never been able to wear a skirt before because my hips had been so uneven! I am the only 20-year-old girlie-girl I know that needed lessons on how to wear a skirt properly! The second issue Dr. Lonner created for me was that now my long, straight hair was crooked due to the fact that I leaned to the right for so many years (it was significantly longer on the left once he straightened me out!).

    Good news! I got those skirt lessons, and I got a haircut! Fast-forward to my first post-op appointment six weeks post-surgery... Dr. Lonner seemed happy with my progress, so I asked him if it was too soon to tap dance! He responded by making me tap dance in his office in the exam gown! I am proud to say that I am officially his first patient to ever do that, as well as his first patient to be cleared to do some dance six weeks post surgery! I am pretty sure I never fail to surprise Dr. Lonner with the things I say or ask to do, such as dancing or rock-climbing upside-down!

    I never thought I would thank someone for putting 17 screws and 2 titanium rods into my spine, but thank you, Dr. Lonner, for making me feel like a person again!

  • Mixed Martial Arts after Surgery? Dreams Come True

    MMA Fighter Shane Burgos takes a step closer to his dream of a professional career.

    Shane-Burgos-MMA-003Shane Burgos, is an MMA fighter who had surgery a mere 3 1/2 years ago and recently won an important match.

    The story in Shanes's own words.

    "I started training to be a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter when I was 15. My back didn’t affect my training at the time, but I knew it was going to get worse and I wanted to be able to compete when I turned 18. Dr. Lonner operated on me when I was 16 and within months I was able to start training again. Now I am 19, and I just won a match that will hopefully bring me closer to going professional. I want to thank Dr. Lonner for everything. My back is perfectly fine now with no problems at all!

    Shane"

    To watch Shane’s most recent MMA match, visit www.gofightlive.tv

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  • Living Life to the Fullest

    April 2010 update from spine patient Daniel B.

    An April 2010 update from spine surgery patient Daniel B

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    "Dear Dr. Lonner,

    I just want to give you an update of what I am now doing with my life. As of Friday 26 March 2010 I am officially a commercial deep sea diver. I am currently looking for some employment, but am doing so with no back problems at all. I would just like to say thank you for everything that you have done and allowing me to take part in all of my extreme activities. Attached are some pictures of me while training in school.

    Thank You,
    Dan B______"

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    Read Daniel's Original Progress Update.

  • Spine Surgery and Skydiving? Why Not?

    Learn how Daniel's life has been transformed.

    Read Daniel's Updated Story in April 2010

    Before my surgery in 2003 I was involved in scuba diving; within the year of my surgery I was back into diving and completed seven certifications. I have also been on two shipwreck dives off the coast of New Jersey.

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    I was also involved at the time with Civil Air Patrol and after my surgery I’ve been to New Jersey Wing Ground Search and Rescue, Hawk Mountain Ranger School and National Ground Search and Rescue Academy’s Disaster/Wilderness First Responder course. I eventually became staff at both Hawk Mountain and Disaster/Wilderness First Responder schools.

    I have also been sky diving three times as well.

    Before

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    After

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    Currently I’m on my local volunteer fire department as an EMT-B and this summer I’ll be attending fire fighter school.

    I’m also going to look into Commercial Diving School for underwater welding/burning, and dive medic specialist in the fall of 2009.

    All the time doing these things, Dr. Lonner has been there encouraging me on to go and achieve all these things that I love doing. Thanks to Dr. Lonner and everyone at the office.

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  • A Young Woman's Happy Story

    See Melissa's X-rays and Results

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    I was twelve years old when I walked into my pediatrician’s office with sinus problems. It was just a quick visit, which would normally result in a prescription for some nasal spray, but that day was a bit different when my doctor told me to get an x-ray since I had scoliosis. I was stunned and in awe since I'd never heard the term, let alone knew I had it. Was my mom's warnings all those years when she told me to sit up straight at the table true? X-ray after x-ray resulted in less than positive news and I soon had to start wearing a brace. I got lecture after lecture everywhere I went, "wear the brace or you'll regret it" was all I heard. But at the same time, I heard all this from people who barely experienced Orthodontia let alone a full thoracic brace.

    At this point, I was fed up and became depressed. My clothes couldn't fit me, I caught weird looks from people when they saw the brace under my clothes and I always declined seats since they were either extremely uncomfortable or I couldn't fit in them. It wasn't completely terrible though, in fact I met a friend through my frequent visits to doctor Lonner's office who loved her brace. She told me it took away the pain and made her happier than she ever was before. I was so happy she felt great but at the same time, it didn't help me and my problem.

    Eventually I avoided my brace and would hide from it, using every excuse in the book to not wear it.

    Before

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    After

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    With my stubborness it wasn't any surprise that my curvature progressed from 34 degrees to 47 and would be needing Spinal fusion surgery to correct it. At this point I was 15 and I looked back on the past 3 years I spent and what I'd already been through, I knew I had to take responsibility for what I'd done and prepare for the surgery. The morning of the surgery I checked into the hospital and started to freak but I knew I was in good hands. I said a prayer and when I woke up I was in the Intensive Care Unit with my mother and father at my side. I can't remember too much, only that I was visited by Oprah Winfrey, who my mother still says was too busy to come; I still believe she came though.

    Time went by and I won't lie, it was pretty hard but the pain subsided and my self esteem grew and grew and soon, I returned to the vibrant happy girl I was. It is now 7 months after my corrective surgery and my curvature has reduced to a perfect 0 degrees. Even now, whenever people ask me questions about my spine I have no problem talking about it, but instead of bringing back painful memories; I can recall it with a smile. For this, I have to thank Doctor Lonner for putting up with my visits as well as the surgery, thank you so much doctor!

  • 17 Years of Pain Finally Ended

    See Kelly's X-rays and Results

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    How do I thank people who have completely improved my quality of life?  April 16th, 2007 is when that happened to me.

    After suffering for 17 years with back pain, leg pain and feeling like my ribs were being constricted; I endured years of useless medical tests, facet blocks, physical therapy and given nsaids for pain relief.  I was told by various physicians that I had everything from arthritis, mild scoliosis and even told at the age of 24 that I had bone cancer!  The cruelest fact was that some friends and family members doubted the severity of my pain.  They dismissed it as no big deal "everyone has back pain" was what their eyes were saying to me.  I knew different.

    Not until my breathing became impeded did I initiate a more aggressive approach to determine why this was happening to me.  I went on my computer, punched in "adult scoliosis" and Dr. Lonner's name appeared.  I checked out his website; checked to see if he was "in network" (new term for me being Canadian) and made an appointment for April 16th, 2007.

    On that day I had full lateral x-rays taken. Watching Dr. Lonner using a protractor and carefully measuring degrees and taking notes; within minutes he had conclusively diagnosed severe thoracic kyphosis.  Seventeen years of misdiagnoses, mystery, fear, unknowing, doubt and frankly testing my sanity was eradicated by an incredibly, qualified, professional, thorough physician who listened to my history and took the time to investigate it.

    Before

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    After

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    Dr. Lonner and his staff explained in detail what the next steps entailed.  I underwent spinal fusion on August 15th, 2007; having my entire thoracic spine fused (12 vertebrae).

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    Dr. Lonner and his team not only delivered professional quality medical care; they ensured that all aspects of the patient are addressed.  To say THANK YOU seems inadequate for what was given to me.

    I am forever grateful to Dr. Lonner and his staff for their professional, compassionate and kindness they have shown to me.

    Sincerely,
    Kelly Britt Saray

  • A Mom is Energized After Her Scoliosis Surgery

    See Paula's X-rays and Results

    Paula spineuniverse ad_modifiedIt is hard to express in a few sentences how this surgery has changed my life.  It has given me the ability to participate with family and friends with greater self esteem and stamina.  I can walk without pain and shop until my daughters drop.  I can wear clothes that accent a waistline rather than clothes that hide a deformity.  I no longer worry that my curvature is progressing. I feel like a new and energized woman. It is not an easy task choosing to have a nine hour surgery, but I encourage you to trust Dr. Lonner’s expertise.  You will feel and look so much better.

    Thank you Dr. Lonner for giving me new life!

    Paula Nichols

    Myrtle Beach, SC

    Age 58

  • A Dancer Has Scoliosis Surgery

    See Molly's X-rays and Results

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    As a dancer, I started noticing a change in my body and the way it moved over the last year.  Discomfort became a part of my daily life.  I came to Doctor Lonner not knowing how serious my scoliosis really was.  It was hard for me to make the decision to stop dance for now and have surgery to correct my spine.  But five weeks later I am feeling better about the way I look and feel, and I can’t wait to get back into the dance studio.  Thank you Doctor Lonner!!!

    -Molly De Falco, 15

     

     

     

    Before                          After

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  • A Woman Regains 2 Inches in Height After Her Surgery

    See Kelley's X-rays and Results

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    Dr. Lonner came highly recommended by two former patients (and friends) who are enjoying life comfortably as a result of Dr. Lonner’s extraordinary surgical skills.  It was said that Dr. Lonner "wrote the book on scoliosis corrective surgery."   I now am a benefactor of Dr. Lonner’s "gift."   My pain is gone, I stand perfectly straight and have grown about two inches. Dr. Lonner and his staff were very attentive throughout this major surgical process. In addition to his surgical skills, Dr. Lonner is a very nice man!

    - Kelley Martin, Sayville, New York

     

     

     

    Before

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    After

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  • Hockey Player Gets Back on the Ice

    See Katie's X-rays and Results

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    Hi my name is Katie and it’s been 6 month’s since I had my back surgery.  It was just 2 years ago when I was diagnosed with Scoliosis.  I had never heard the word before and just the sound of it was frightening.  I was told I needed to sleep in a back brace every night.  As a competitive traveling ice hockey player, my parents tried to make me a little more comfortable by suggesting I think of the brace like another piece of hockey equipment.  I was just going to have to deal with it and I did.  In the end, the brace didn’t help as my thoracic curve continued to get worse.  Eventually, I reached a point where my curve was 48 degrees and the reality of surgery became more real.

    More X-rays were taken and it was a done deal.  I needed the operation!  No matter what people told me, I was feeling scared at that moment.  The first thing that came to my mind was would it hurt and would I ever be able to play ice hockey again?  It’s my favorite sport that I had been playing since I was 6 years old and I didn’t want to stop playing at the age of 14.  It is so much of who I am.  Two State Championships, traveling and competing at the highest levels, summer camps and off-ice training and my pure love of the sport were all at risk.

    The anticipation for the big day to come was very nerve-racking.  I just wanted to get it over with.  When it did finally come, I closed my eyes and waited for it to be over.  I went to pre-op and then to surgery.  They gave me the IV and I was out for 4 hours.  When I finally woke up in the intensive care unit with my parents waiting for me, I was so happy to have finished the operation.  I was told Dr. Lonner did an excellent job in the operation and it was OVER!

    I had 6 really tough, long days at NYU hospital.  I felt a lot of pain in my muscles and had a hard time sitting up.  Lucky the nurses at the hospital were great, and helped me with everything; making sure I was as comfortable as I could be in that situation.  I had to walk every now and again up the hallway getting a few painful steps further each time.  I was finally discharged on the sixth day and sent to my home sweet home!

    It took a while to finally get out of bed, eat; walk and shower by myself, but eventually that day arrived.  I was not allowed to bend twist or lift.  No BLT as Dr. Lonner said!   Generally the 6 weeks of help at home, no school, visitors, presents and tutoring went by pretty quickly.  Soon enough it was time for my 3-month post operation X-ray.

    When I got into the room with Dr. Lonner he told me very casually, “Bend over.”  So I answered,  “I can bend?”  For the first time in 3 months, I could almost touch my toes again!  Then my Dad asked Dr. Lonner if I could play hockey again.  He said you could start to skate now, but go easy for a while.  That news was so overwhelming to me!   I was able to skate again, touch my toes, lift heavy things, ride bikes, dance and twist all over the place!  Dr. Lonner had done such a good job that he even told me that in 4 to 6 weeks I could start to play ice hockey again!  It’s going to take me a lot of work to get back to where I was last season, but I’ve come such a long way already!  Last Saturday, I scored my first goal since my surgery and I feel great!

    - Katie, 14 years old

    Before

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    After

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  • Scoliosis Surgery allows a Child to Return to Normal Activity

    See Laura's X-rays and Results

    ro1Before surgery I used to come home from school and fall down on my bed in pain. I dropped out of tennis, softball, roller blading and all other nonessential activities. I gained a lot of weight. Six months after surgery I rarely have any discomfort. I lost over 40 pounds and bought lots of new clothes. I have become fully active again and feel much happier. Here I am at the New York State Field Marching Band Competition (we won second place). Thanks, Dr. Lonner.

    Sincerely,
    Laura K

    Before

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    After

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  • The Mother of the Bride

    See Rosemarie's X-rays and Results

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    This scoliosis surgery has given me back a part of my life that I had never dreamed of having again.  I had put that part of me away and never hoped to have it again.

    Thank you very much Dr. Lonner!

     

     

     

    Before

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    After

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  • A Young Girl's Journey to Success

    See Brielle's X-rays and Results

    Brielle is now 15 years old. She was diagnosed with infantile idiopathic scoliosis and had a left thoracic curvature of 35° at 18 months of age. Brielle started to wear a brace when she was 2 years old. Her thoracic curve was reduced from 35° to 12° after just 2 years of a full time bracing program. Her curve has been stable since then and was maintained during her pubertal grow spurt. Her brace wearing time was gradually decreased from 20 to 12 hours/day. Brielle is very active and plays competitive basketball. During her most recent visit, her curve was stable at 9° with her being out of the brace for three days prior to the visit. Brielle is currently weaning out of the brace. She has been a stellar patient who was committed to her bracing regimen over many years along with the love and support of her family.

    Brielle’s case is a dramatic example of the benefits of bracing as recently emphasized by the publication in the New England Journal of Medicine of the prospective, randomized, multicenter, NIH-funded BRAIST study in adolescents undergoing bracing. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1307337?query=featured_home
    From mom’s perspective:
    Brielle was diagnosed with infantile scoliosis at eighteen months old. We were on vacation and I noticed that one of her bathing suit straps never stayed on her shoulder. I noticed that her shoulders were uneven. Brielle was sent for an M.R.I. and from the x-ray we gleamed that she had a 35 degree curvature of the spine. We were sent in search of a scoliosis doctor and chose a practice that specialized solely in scoliosis.
    Brielle, to this day, is the youngest patient that our doctor has aggressively braced. Aggressive bracing entailed Brielle wearing a brace for 20 hours a day!! She had numerous doctor visits to determine where the pads on her brace should be placed, and she also had many braces, getting larger as she grew.

    When Brielle was very small she would decorate her brace with stickers. After appointments at which her brace was adjusted, she would get in the car, buckle into her car seat and cry. It broke my heart, but although her doctor always told her she could take off the brace if it hurt her, Brielle was always a trooper and was smiling by the time we arrived home.

    Brielle was never ridiculed for wearing a brace. Only one time in kindergarten one of the little girls would constantly touch her belly and comment on her brace. I called a very understanding mother who stopped that behavior right away. Dressing Brielle to cover the brace was difficult, but together we learned how to accomplish this. I must admit it became more difficult as she got older and styles became tank tops and off the shoulder tees.
    Wearing a brace and having scoliosis never stopped Brielle from enjoying any physical activity. She played and excelled at soccer and basketball. She especially enjoyed swimming as it was considered not out of brace time although she was out of brace!

    Brielle has always excelled academically and was salutatorian of her class. Brielle has never let scoliosis limit her. Maybe because she was so young, it was our normal.. She also realizes it is not catastrophic to have something that can be fixed. There have been numerous times when we are at her doctor’s office and a teen will get the bracing diagnosis and they just break down. This angers Brielle and I, as for us it was a long process, for most it is just a few short years.

    Brielle has matured into a 5 foot 9 inch wonderful teenager. There are really no words to convey how proud I have been of her on this journey. We are at the home stretch and eagerly awaiting the words, “You are done!!”

    From Brielle’s perspective:

    Although I do not remember when I was diagnosed with scoliosis or the first time I ever went to see my scoliosis doctor, I am told I cried, a lot. I do remember struggling to sit in class with my brace on when I was younger or getting extremely warm after playing gym and not being able to cool off. This is when my parents would explain to me to be grateful that my back can be fixed, and that this cannot last forever.
    Now, I am 15 years old and I only wear my brace to sleep. The biggest and most exciting news I have gotten since I have been going to the brace doctor was that I wouldn’t have to wear it to high school and that I am near the end of the road. Now that I am 5’9 and almost done growing, I get a nervous and exciting feel every time I go to the brace doctor hoping that this would be the day I get rid of my brace forever.

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    My biggest struggle I have had to deal with was dealing with my brace at sleep away camp. I have been going to camp ever since I was only 8 years old and I have brought my brace every single year. The main struggle was the heat. I would get antsy at night as the heat became unbearable. To fix this, my mom sent me up fans to sleep with throughout the night. Another issue was explaining my brace to my friends my first summer at camp. My counselors would help me put it on every night and my camp friends would ask me a lot of questions. Although it made me uncomfortable, I realized they never meant to interrogate me, they were just curious. I have been going to camp with the same girls for the past 7 years and now, they always fight over who gets to help me put on my brace at night. They find it fascinating.

    My advice to anyone who is recently diagnosed with scoliosis is to be glad that it is a problem that can be fixed. It is not permanent. There are too many illnesses in the world that cannot be fixed. If we put scoliosis in comparison to something like that, it is like a small cut on the arm. Everyone must put their life in perspective and be grateful for what they have.

    I am so glad to be near the end of this journey. I have heard of kids who dread going to the doctor. I find it very exciting because I love to see my x-rays and the progress the brace has done for me. Now, I’m just waiting for the final “You’re done!” appointment.

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  • A Young Model's Story of Perseverance

    See Niara's X-rays and Results

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    My name is Niara Johnson, as I write this I am in my brace with tears in my eyes. Not tears of sorrow but tears of conquest. The idea of succeeding in such a vulnerable issue, despite the obstacles I've been through is overwhelming. I can proudly say anything is achievable through determination and a higher power. Oh yeah and let’s not forget the comforting encouragement from your loved ones, which helps inspire the thought that failure is NEVER an option. I am a prime example at the age of 16 that you can slowly but surely overcome the punishing barriers you go through in your life. However, you have to want it. You have to want it as much as you breath, you have to want it as much as you sleep, you have to want it as much as you want the latest game for the Xbox 360 or even the latest Louis Vuitton shoes, you have to have a crave for desire.

    I was 12 when my doctor revealed to me I was diagnosed with scoliosis. Honestly, I didn’t have a care in the world until I was told I had to wear a back brace in order to correct it. At 12, I was naive, I lacked wisdom, I lacked judgment and of course I was very difficult and stubborn. I made a concrete decision that I wasn't going to wear the brace. I made this decision based on care of appearance and embarrassment. I didn’t know that in the near future I would be aspiring modeling, I didn’t know that the brace would assist me having the perfect posture, an exceptional body frame and height for what I want to aspire.

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    Having no clue that the brace would direct my hopes and ambition on becoming a successful model, I was thinking about the present but not the future. I met with Dr. Murthy and she told me I had a curve of 37° on the top half and 32° on the bottom half and I was to wear brace 23 hours a day. I cried and cried in my own misery. I took matters into my own hands and decided not to wear it for the first couple of months. I went back to Dr. Murthy, and she made it clear that if I didn’t get it together the next time and if the scoliosis did not improve, then possibly I will end up having surgery. I slowly started to wear the brace still crying my eyes out, feeling sorry for myself. Noticing at the age of 13, this brace would cause a lot of insecurities, cause me to be self-conscious. This brace caused me to feel ashamed and embarrassed but most importantly this brace helped me to develop ‘thick skin’. It helped me to become insensitive to harsh critics, which is very important in what I am aspiring to do. Wearing the back brace 23 hours a day for about 3-4 years is not walk in the park and I’m not going to make it seem like it is. It’s challenging, it causes emotional and mental stress, it’s painful, wearing the brace in middle school was rigid, I got made fun of, and I got called names.

    I got called a ‘robot’, which is funny now that I think back on it, but thanks to my best friends- they made the experience worthwhile. Most significantly to me, the brace helps discipline and it actually slowly but surely corrects your spine over time. You just have to be in it to win. I say find something you’re passionate about and let it inspire you to wear the brace because everything happens for a reason. Roger Babson once said "Let him who would enjoy a good future, waste none of his present", this means whatever negative or positive thing you do in the present can greatly affect the your future. I stand at 16 years old, 4 years later, thankful I came to my senses and started faithfully wearing my back brace, not caring what people had to say, imagining my vision and where I wanted to go in life through the support of my loved ones and of course through God himself. I make it a habit to stay prayerful of my health, my aspiring modeling career and of course school. I don’t write this to inspire, I write this as a witness that through determination and faith, anything is possible. I now stand at 5'8.5 still growing, more than 20 fashion shows in New York city, modeling for 2 major hair companies, yet more to come and still in school maintaining a 85 grade point average and better.

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    If you need some reassurance just think about the future you and where you want to be in the future. Me? I’m hungry for success and I know I’m going to fail 10,000 more times until I reach my peak, but that’s not going to stop me. With that being said, my spine is now at 16°, the middle curve is at 19° and the bottom curve is at 14°, can you say huge progress. I went from wearing the back brace 23 hours a day to 15 hours a day. Everything happens for a reason and I would love to be a spokes model for the back brace, I would love to help teenage girls and boys around the world overcome the hurtful feelings of insecurities or being made fun of because of a something they simply can’t control. I would love to do this because I've been through it and I’m still going through it. I know how it feels to sleep uncomfortable every night, I know how it feels to wear the brace outside and wonder if people can tell if you have a brace on and I also know how it feels to never give up and that’s what really counts. Lastly, I want to wish you luck with your back brace. It’s hard at first, but consistency, determination and faith are keys and with those planted in your head anything is possible.
    Written by Niara Johnson future journalist/fashion model (:

  • Musician Returns to the Stage

    See Kathy's X-Rays and Result

    Dr. Lonner,

    The decision to have scoliosis surgery is never one that should be taken lightly and I definitely did not take it lightly. When I realized that I really didn't have any more non-surgical options, and I had to go ahead with it I took the time to research what surgeon I would be entrusting my life to. It really didn't take long to realize that you were the one, the best possible choice, the most highly respected and dedicated doctor whose experience and reputation were second to none. There were other scoliosis surgeons who were recommended by various sources, but every orthopedic surgeon I consulted with said you were the one they'd go to themselves. Ok then! It seemed like a no-brainier, and then I actually met you. The way you spoke to me, the way you took the time to explain everything, the different procedures you would do to ensure a successful outcome, your compassion and overall incredible manner, you put me at ease while I contemplated a life-changing challenge. The staff at your office also are some of the best I've met, especially Yolanda, Sandra and Patricia. The surgery and hospital stay were of course very scary, but the team you assembled and the staff at Beth Israel-Mount Sinai were so fabulous I look back with only gratitude.

    As I write this, 10 weeks post operative, I fully realize the magnitude of what you have done for me. You've given me a chance at a future with my family, friends, potential grandchildren 🙂 my music, and my job and future students for years to come. I don't think there are adequate words to express my appreciation, except to thank you from the bottom of my heart (and spine!) I am forever grateful to you and your talent, dedication and meticulousness. I want you to know that once my scar fully heals I intend to get some kind of tattoo that includes a dedication to you. I'm not sure how, or what it will be but I guarantee it will be there!

    With my sincere thanks,

    Cathy Mongiello

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