Scott L. Simon, MD

Scott Simon, MD is a neurosurgeon, specializing in the treatment of spinal disorders including operative and non-operative treatment of scoliosis. He is one of just a few physicians nationwide, trained in neurological surgery and orthopaedic techniques to treat scoliosis in adolescents and adults and has extensive experience in minimally invasive spine surgery.

Dr. Simon is on staff at Greenwich and Stamford Hospitals and is the Neurosurgical Director of Cyberknife Radiosurgery for the Stamford Hospital CyberKnife team. The CyberKnife system, by Accuray Inc., is a noninvasive image-guided robotic surgery system that directs radiation beams into tumors from virtually unlimited directions with extreme accuracy to minimize damage to surrounding healthy tissue and vital organs.

Dr. Simon graduated from medical school at UMDNJ – New Jersey Medical School. He completed his residency at The University of Pennsylvania Department of Neurosurgery, and his fellowship training in Spine Surgery and Scoliosis at The Schriners Hospital for Children, in Philadelphia.

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Specialties

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Education

College
Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Medical School
UMDNJ New Jersey Medical School, Piscataway, NJ

Internship
Department of Surgery, The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Residency
Department of Neurosurgery, The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Fellowship
Spinal Surgery and Deformity, Shriners Hospital for Children, Philadelphia Unit, Philadelphia, PA

Affiliations

Academic Affiliations
Consultant - Shriners Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, PA

Administrative Positions
Stamford Hospital Neurosurgical Director of Cyberknife Radiosurgery
Stamford Hospital Neurosurgical Trauma Director
Stamford Hospital ICU Committee
Stamford Hospital Peer Review Committee
Stamford Hospital OR Committee

Professional Affiliations
American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)
American Board of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)
AANS Congress of Neurological Surgeons,
Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves
The Association for Ethics in Spine Surgery
The Cyberknife Society

Certifications

American Board of Neurological Surgery

Additional Honors

Awards
2013 New York Magazine Best Doctors
Castle Connolly New York Metro Area Top Doctor 2012-2013
Connecticut Magazine Top Doctor 2011-2012
Greenwich Magazine Top Doctor 2012-2013, 2014
Stamford Magazine Top Doctor 2012-2013
New Canaan/Darien Magazine Top Doctor 2012-2013
Fairfield Magazine Top Doctor 2012
Westport Magazine Top Doctor 2012

 

Published Research

Testimonials

  • D.L. was almost blind by the time she arrived at the office of neurosurgeon Dr. Scott Simon. Over the last 3 weeks she had been experiencing progressive loss of her vision that prompted her ophthalmologist to order an MRI of the brain. The scan revealed a large pituitary tumor compressing her optic nerves at the base of her brain. Dr. Simon admitted D.L. directly to Stamford Hospital and preformed a minimally invasive resection of the tumor, accessing the site completely through the nose. After surgery, D.L.’s vision completely returned and she continues to be tumor free without any side effects.

    D.L., Greenwich, CT
  • In Spring of 2007, fourteen-year-old J.L. of Dulles, VA was visiting her grandmother during spring vacation when she was struck by a car as she walked across the road near Greenwich High School. An ambulance took her to the Trauma Center at Stamford Hospital, where it was quickly determined that she had suffered a life-threatening head injury.

    Neurosurgeon Scott Simon, MD of the Tully Health Center and Orthopaedic and Neurosurgery Specialists PC was called to the emergency room, and it was quickly determined that the impact from the accident caused an acute subdural hematoma and malignant brain swelling, leading to a herniation syndrome, where the brain is pushed into the brain stem and down through the skull. J.L. underwent an emergency hemicraniectomy, where Dr. Simon removed half of her skull as well as the hematoma. (She had the same brain surgery as Bob Woodruff.) Once her swelling subsided, the removed portion of her skull was reattached.

    Back home in Virginia, J.L. is now in 11th grade. She loves to sing, draw and go shopping with friends. Thanks to the excellent care she has received at Stamford Hospital and the skills of Dr. Simon, J.L.’s life has returned to normal.

    J.L., Dulles, VA
  • For two years, C.D. of Trumbell, CT dealt with gradually developing pain in her right hip that ran down to her foot that progressively eroded her quality of life. At 66 she had to give up her job as a nurse that she dearly loved and became virtually housebound. Being a medical professional, she honed in on the purported experts in her condition, who emphatically told her that there was nothing to be done for her. She underwent epidural injections in her back, tried to manage the pain with medications and even tried acupuncture. Nothing seemed to work. In fact, her doctor told her that her condition was “permanent and chronic” and that “there wasn’t a surgeon around that could do anything to help.”

    Desperate and determined, C.D. continued to search for answers. She was referred to neurosurgeon Dr. Scott Simon to have an electric stimulation devise implanted into her back to treat the pain. During her visit to Dr. Simon, he reviewed her MRI and discovered that the quality of the MRI was so inferior that he doubted that an accurate diagnosis could have been made using them. He ordered a new MRI to be taken immediately and asked her to return to his office afterward. After reviewing the images he told her, “I can help you.”

    C.D. had a degenerative spondylolisthesis, a condition where one vertebra shifts out in front of another, causing back pain and leg pain due to nerve compression. On May 9, 2011, Dr. Simon and Dr. Paul Apostolides performed a minimally invasive laminectomy, fusion, and fixation to decompress the nerves and stabilize the spine. Today C.D. is 100% pain free and has regained her life. “Dr. Simon has literally given me my life back,” she said.

    C.D., Trumbell, CT
  • Now 21 years old and a senior in college, V.P. began having problems with her back when she was 12 years old. She was a competitive gymnast at the time, and the 24 hours of training a week had put excessive stress on her back. As a result, she developed stress fractures in her spine that never healed, which allowed for excess motion where her spine joined her pelvis.

    Initially she was able to put up with the discomfort, but in time it got worse. Sometimes the pain was so bad, she couldn’t go to school. “It felt like my back was on fire, so I was told to quit gymnastics and give my body time to heal. Eventually pain prevented me from sleeping. I remember one solid week when I was 14, when I couldn’t sleep at all.” V.P. recalled getting shooting pains down her legs when she rolled over. Eventually neither standing nor sitting were comfortably. After stopping gymnastics and giving her back a rest, she felt better. She tried playing other sports but soon found that just turning the wrong way could cause excruciating pain that lasted for days.

    V.P. tried physical therapy but it too aggravated her condition. Two attempts with bracing her back were also unsuccessful. The last treatment she tried before deciding to undergo surgery was personal training at a gym that specialized in sports-related injuries. “My back stopped hurting for at least four years and then all of a sudden, the pain came back one summer,” she said. “I decided to do the surgery because I was sick of being in pain.”

    In order to reestablish a solid connection between the spine and the pelvis, Dr. Scott Simon, assisted by Dr. Paul Apostolides, performed a minimally invasive decompression and spinal fusion on Vicki in June 2009. They removed the disc between L5 and S1 and replaced it with bone and a small cage. Through two small, one-inch incisions, they placed screws into the two vertebrae and connected them with two rods in order to immobilize the vertebrae to allow them to fuse together.

    V.P. spent three days in the hospital and recovered at home over the next two weeks, after which she gradually went back to driving and getting around on her own. “I’m very glad I had the surgery. Now I’m back to living a normal life. I get a full night’s sleep and wake up without my back hurting. I am even back to weight training and using the elliptical at school.

    V.P., Greenwich, CT
  • M.S. was unaware that from birth, she had a rare brain condition known as Chiari malformation, until she took a fall while skiing that triggered intermittent headaches and sensations of intense head pressure in the back of her head near her neck. The episodes, which were also characterized by dizziness, and feeling tired and “foggy”, lasted from two to five minutes. They happened without warning, with no predictable pattern or timing, and eventually were occurring daily. Most disturbing to M.S., at night she perceived a sense of burning in her head and was having intermittent numbness in her feet and hands.

    Both M.S. and her primary care physician initially thought her symptoms could have been related to allergies but when they persisted, her doctor advised her to see a neurosurgeon. Dr. Scott Simon, whose office is at ONS at Tully Health Center, performed a thorough neuro-cognitive evaluation and ordered CT scans and MRIs which revealed that she had Chiari malformation.

    Chiari malformation is a condition that occurs when the cerebellum is pushed down through the opening in the bottom of the skull, compressing the brain stem, diminishing the flow of spinal fluid in the skull. Chiari malformation occurs in one of 2,000 people; mostly women. For many, the condition may not be detected until after age 30. Characteristic symptoms are severe headaches that are often made worse by neck extension, neck pain, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, a sense of pressure in the head and trouble with balance.
    Dr. Simon recommended that M.S. undergo Chiari surgery in order to enlarge the opening at the back of the skull to decompress the brain. M.S. underwent surgery at Stamford Hospital on November 30, 2009. She stayed in the hospital for three days. It took two weeks until she was again steady on her feet, and during her recovery she was very sensitive to the touch on her head. She took it easy for the following month before returning to work but her headaches were gone. Now she has resumed her regular workout routine which includes jogging, fitness classes and weight training, and no longer worries about having a sudden attack.

    M.S., Greenwich, CT
  • In 2003, I.M. began to experience periodic episodes of pain in what she thought was her tooth. At first the attacks lasted a minute or two but before long, they became unimaginably bad. She had spells that would last every five to ten minutes, sometimes for periods of several days. After a number of visits to her dentist, desperate to pinpoint the source of her discomfort, the problem just got worse. Eventually, it moved to the side of her nose, then settled just under her bottom teeth, and then became so severe it often prevented her from talking and eating.

    It took years of tests and visits to dentists and other specialists until she was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, a disorder of the nerve which carries sensation from the face to the brain. Effective treatment for her condition however, was even more elusive. I.M.’s condition worsened and she was forced to quit her job. Her life was turned upside down.

    Then Dr. Rod Acosta, her primary care physician in Stamford, told her about neurosurgeon Dr. Scott Simon who uses the Cyberknife at Stamford Hospital to treat trigeminal neuralgia. The Cyberknife technology is specifically designed for the delivery of stereotactic radiosurgery and operates through collaborative efforts of the neurosurgeon, radiation oncologist, and radiation physicist. Treatment consists of aiming precisely focused beams of radiation on the trigeminal nerve. The hour-long procedure is non-invasive, painless, requires no incision, and patients go home the same day. Desperate and hopeful for relief, I.M. scheduled treatment.

    In a preliminary appointment, a mask of her head was created that would be used to calibrate and guide the beams of radiation. Two weeks later she returned for the actual treatment, which lasted about an hour. That night she had another attack, but over the next few weeks the frequency and severity of the episodes gradually diminished and in four weeks, they had vanished completely. After seven years of agonizing pain, I.M. has made a full recovery and is now living life pain free.

    I.M., Stamford, CT
  • R.M. had been fighting cancer, which began as male breast cancer, since November of 1999. After his initial treatment with chemo and radiation, he was symptom free for five years. However, three years ago, the cancer metastasized to his lumbar. He endured intense pain for six months despite taking narcotic pain medication and curtailing many activities. He had to stop playing golf, which had been very helpful in managing the stress of his illness. His radiation oncologist, Dr. Frank Masino of Stamford Hospital suggested he might be a candidate for treatment with CyberKnife®, a noninvasive image-guided robotic radiosurgery system that delivers highly precise beams of radiation to its target. He sent Rick for an evaluation with neurosurgeon Dr. Scott Simon.

    “R.M. had two options,” explained Dr. Simon. “He could undergo an extensive spinal surgery to remove part of the tumor with a spinal fusion, or he could be treated with Cyberknife to try to shrink the tumor non-invasively by pin pointing radiation directly to the tumor site.” R.M. chose Cyberknife.

    First, a quick, out-patient procedure was performed by Dr. Simon under local anesthesia to implant small gold markers, known as fiducials into the soft tissues near the tumor region to help guide the radiation beams. CT scans and an MRI was then done in order to map the areas of the tumor that are to be targeted by the Cyberknife.

    After a dry run to check radiation beam alignment, Dr. Simon and the Cyberknife team at Stamford Hospital administered four treatments over four days, each one lasting about two hours. By the end of the second day, R.M. already felt some relief from the pain. At the end of the fourth treatment, the pain was gone. R.M. was thrilled, even more so when he was able to return to golf just a couple of days later. He has been pain free ever since.

    “The Cyberknife allows us to use maximum doses of radiation, with minimal risk to the normal surrounding tissue,” said Dr. Simon. ” R.M. responded quickly but every patient is different, and it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to experience the full benefit of the treatment.”

    R.M., Greenwich, CT