A Team Effort

I was injured in my military career and for 29 years, have managed through neck and spine pain that was caused from it. It became unbearable with numbness in my fingers and inability to sleep, sit or work. I have never had nerve pain like I did and when I saw Dr. Nocek, he sent me for an X-ray then MRI to determine what was happening. While waiting for results, he sent me to physical therapy and to Dr. Heftler, a physiatrist, for an injection to help relieve the symptoms until we could determine what to do. Bottom line, I needed spine surgery. I saw ONS neurosurgeon Dr. Fiore, who got me right into surgery, repaired 3 discs, and cleaned up the problems. Immediately, and that’s no joke, immediately, I could tell I was on the mend. I’ve had chronic pain for 29 years and now, almost three months out, the constant ache and nerve pain isn’t there. I had lost feeling in part of my had and fingers which has since returned. Best part of my ONS experience was that everything is onsite and getting to the bottom of this just took a few short days. Everyone works like a team. They are specialists, unlike my experience at the VA. Meanwhile, they helped me manage the pain. I have never experienced this before and I’m very pleased with the results. If you need a neurosurgeon, specialized orthopedist, physiatrist or physical therapy, I totally recommend ONS. ( RateMD)

An ONS Experience

ONS is the Best! The doctors are compassionate, caring, skilled and knowledgeable, the nurses and staff are great, they have taken the very best care of me, I wouldn’t go anywhere else. The doctors listen to you, answer all of your questions and take time with you. They want the best for you and that’s what you get, I can’t say enough about ONS, highly recommend! (5 Star Review on Yelp from E.O.)

An ONS Experience

They are top notch and treat everyone with respect an friendliness from security, doctors, and especially the PT group are super friendly and amazing. Highly recommend them!!! (CCP)

An ONS Experience

The best doctors with a wonderful staff. I drive from Long Island to see them. (MM-V)

An ONS Experience

Excellent customer service from the first time you call for an appointment until your follow up. (KB-J)

An ONS Experience

I have sent several of my clients to ONS and all of them have been very happy with the service and their surgeries. Great doctors. (Comment on Facebook from M.L., MPT, OCS)

Dr. Apostolides

Dr. Paul Apostolides was a very nice doctor and his staff too. He is very professional and he helped me as much as he could and helped me understand my problem. Thanks so much doctor. (5 Star Review on Google from M.M.)

Dr. Apostolides

Dr. Apostolides is an absolutely wonderful doctor. I would never go anywhere else. I give him 5 stars and he is simply the best of the best!! (Patient Survey)

Dr. Apostolides

Dr. Apostolides –  Thank you so much for finding the time to come and celebrate my grandmother’s 102nd birthday with us. We were so pleased to see you. You are a very special person to both of us and we know that ‘Amy’ would not have had the quality of life and additional years if she had not had the surgery that you so skillfully performed. Thank you again for joining us for this joyful celebration. (RB)

Dr. Apostolides and Dr. Fiore

Top in his skills, knowledge and manner, along with his partner, Dr. Amory Fiore, the two of them make an incredible winning team. They have operated on me with astounding results, and if I could give them both a rating of 100 stars, I would be happy. Dr. Apostolides exudes great confidence in his patients and you know he will perform his surgery brilliantly, which he always does. There is a reason he has such a fine reputation and it is well deserved. He and Dr. Fiore are both top in my book. (comment from RateMD)

Dr. Apostolides and Dr. Kessel: Spine

I have been a patient of ONS for the past two years. I have had two major back surgeries with Dr. Apostolides, several injections from Dr. Kessel, two MRI‘s and multiple x-rays. From the very first day of visiting ONS in Greenwich, I experienced the most respectful and courteous staff of any medical office in my entire life.

Being greeted at the front desk by well-dressed and helpful security was the first sign that I knew I was going to have the best care. The second floor staff are superior in their handling of patients, not to mention promptly moving patients into the doctor’s exam room. The doctors are top notch and take as much time as needed to answer all questions. Their assistants are well-trained and equally respectful of patients and their families.

Barbara and Madelyn are exceptional in scheduling necessary procedures and surgeries. Sommre is also easy to work with and very helpful. The desk staff on all three floors are friendly and happy to assist.

I understand that all staff are interchangeable, which is a unique feature of any medical facility. This most definately adds to their skill level.

I am writing to express my thanks for a well-organized and smooth operation. My family and I thank you for putting together a wonderful professional group of doctors, nurses, assistants and staff. (DR)

Dr. Apostolides: Lumbar Stenosis

Dr. Apostolides is a great doctor! He is extremely professional, compassionate and knowledgeable. He was very thorough with his examination, reviewed my spine xrays and MRI, clearly explained my diagnosis of lumbar stenosis and all the treatment options. Dr. Apostolides and his staff are wonderful and the office is very comfortable and welcoming. Dr. Apostolides has my highest recommendation! (5 Star Review on Google from P.T.)

Dr. Apostolides: Spine

Dr. Apostolides– For over fifteen years, Darien High School computer technology trainer R.C. frequently suffered from back and leg pain. After a while, household projects became more and more difficult and by the time he was 58, he was easily fatigued and having difficulty walking short distances. Eventually, riding in a car was agonizing and he could no longer enjoy his favorite hobby, working on cars.

After consulting chiropractors, orthopaedic surgeons and neurosurgeons as well as following programs of physical therapy and exercise, he went to see Dr. Paul Apostolides, a neurosurgeon recommended to him by his brother-in-law.

“Upon reading my MRI, he explained that my problem was due to severe spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis or slip-of-the-bone,” said R.C. “The spinal canal had severely narrowed putting pressure on the spinal nerves which caused my leg pain. In addition, one vertebra had slipped in front of the other and was moving abnormally, causing my back pain. Fortunately, there was a surgery that could help me.”

Dr. Apostolides with Dr. Amory Fiore, performed a laminectomy to widen the spinal canal and decompress the spinal nerves. Then, an instrumentation and fusion were performed to treat the instability using titanium screws and rods, medical grade plastic inter-body cages and bone graft.

R.C.’s recovery was steady through a post-operative routine of physical therapy and a home exercise program. He returned to his job after a two and a half month break to recuperate. Six months later, R.C. and his wife made a three-week trip to China and climbed the Great Wall. “I could never have made the trip before the surgery. It gave me my life back. I feel great!” he said. (RC)

Dr. Apostolides: Spine

Dr. Apostolides– Stamford resident K.O. was 17 when she was in a roll-over car accident that severely injured her neck. Dr. Paul Apostolides was on call that night and remembers meeting K.O. in the Greenwich Hospital ER, “She was awake, alert, scared and in a lot of pain. Fortunately, she was able to move her arms and legs.” X-rays revealed multiple fractures of the cervical spine.

When K.O.’s parents arrived, they learned their daughter’s broken neck could result in long-term pain, loss of feeling, or even permanent paralysis in her limbs. “After reviewing numerous MRIs, CTs, and x-rays, Dr. Apostolides explained that he would have to virtually reconstruct Kimberly’s neck,” recalled K.O.’s mother Lorraine. “His assessment of her condition was tough to hear, although he was optimistic about her chances for recovery.”

Dr. Apostolides and Dr. Amory Fiore performed the operation, which required decompressing the spinal cord and nerves and realigning, stabilizing and fusing together four adjacent vertebrae in the lower cervical spine using titanium plates, screws and rods and bone graft.

After surgery, K.O. was placed in a cervical brace to support the neck while it healed. Her recovery was steady and six and a half weeks later, she left for her freshman year in college.

“The surgery exceeded all expectations,” said Lorraine. “I can’t imagine what would have happened if Dr. Apostolides hadn’t walked into the emergency room that night.” (KO)

Dr. Apostolides: Spine

Dr. Apostolides: Thank you so much for believing in my mother almost 10 years ago in 2003. She is still doing great at 89!! I just recommended you to a friend and it brought me back to realizing how you changed the trajectory of her and our lives. My mom had become a body filled with pain and anger, with litttle of her true personality left. I was having the last grandchild and worried that my daughter would never come to know what a wonderful Grandmother she had. You came along and told her that at 81, you would get her back on the tennis court! The other doctors just told her she was old and “this is what happens.” You got her back on the court!! (ES)

Dr. Camel

Dr. Camel did the job and I was walking within a week. Takes the time to explain in detail what the issues are and what he’s going to do to fix it. (Five star review on Healthgrades by D.M. of Boca Raton, FL)

Dr. Camel

Everyone is always so professional …and Dr. Camel and Sommre are the best!..thanks for everything. (TC)

Dr. Camel

I would highly recommend Dr. Camel to anyone I know. He is a kind, confident and thorough surgeon. The hospital he is associated with, Greenwich Hospital is just by far the best hospital I have been to. What a team, thank you! (comment from Health Grades)

Dr. Camel: Microdisectomy

This note is in continuing appreciation of Dr. Mark Camel’s skills (communication, bedside and surgical). He completely resolved acute, incapacitating pain with a very successful microdiscectomy. He and his team at the surgery center – and all of the team at ONS were extraordinary. From diagnoses, to exploring options, second opinions, the surgery and the recovery were highly professional, suitably quick and a good as new result. Thank you. (5 Star Review on Healthgrades from V.S., Naples, FL)

Dr. Camel: Neck Fusion

Dr. Camel performed a fusion on my neck 15 years ago. He was diligent and sent me to PT first, and did not resort to surgery right away. Although he told me if that helped, it would probably help for about 2 years, and I would then in all likelihood need surgery. Almost 2 years to the day, I was back and he did the surgery. My entire experience from beginning to end was excellent. I was in unbearable pain prior to the surgery. I have been completely 100% ever since. I am so very thankful. (comment from Health Grades)

Dr. Camel: Spinal Fusion

I just had to check in with you all…I am doing so well! I have truly not felt this well in as long as I can remember. Having the spinal fusion surgery has changed my life in so many ways. I have lost 50 pounds since my surgery and resuming normal activity. I have ZERO pain whatsoever. I haven’t even had so much as a headache since my surgery in July. I feel about 10-15 years younger, minimally. I can never thank Dr. Camel, physical therapist Fey and all of the associates at ONS who helped me to return to a “better than normal” state of health and well-being. I know you guys do this every day; but to me, this was a once-in-a-lifetime “event” that has permanently changed my life for the better in myriad ways. THANK YOU ALL, once again! (CM)

Dr. Camel: Spine

Dr. Camel– At 86 years of age, E.B. of State College, PA is a healthy and active woman, accustomed to an independent lifestyle that includes gardening, volunteer work and traveling. She awoke one morning with considerable pain in her back and right leg. The previous afternoon she had spent raking and pulling weeds in her garden and her physician in Pennsylvania concluded that she had badly strained a muscle. The pain grew worse over time and after five weeks of physical therapy and pain medication, her condition had deteriorated significantly. Searing pain shot into her right thigh whenever she attempted to bear weight on it and she could no longer walk without leaning on a walker. Climbing stairs was all but impossible.

With great difficulty, E.B. traveled to Westchester County to visit her daughters for Thanksgiving. They brought her to ONS to see Dr. Mark Camel. Upon reading an MRI of her lower back, he determined that the source of her pain was pressure on the spinal nerve created by a ruptured disc. A 45-minute procedure called a discectomy could end her suffering.

She underwent the operation to remove disc fragments and material from the damaged disc. By the afternoon on the day of surgery she was up and walking with less difficulty, and in less than two weeks she was walking and climbing stairs unassisted.

“What a relief,” said E.B. “I had become so disabled, that I was really concerned I might lose my independence. The surgery was as successful as Dr. Camel predicted and it exceeded my expectations. I only wish I’d had it done sooner.” (E.B.)

Dr. Fiore

I was extremely happy with the services of ONS. I never waited for appointments and the doctors did not seemed rushed when they talked to me. The big thing of course is that Dr Fiore was able to diagnose and repair a back problem that other doctors had missed, and that I am again able to walk without pain. I didn’t have an easy time of it, but the ONS office always responded to me. The PAs were all well informed and compassionate. I liked the fact the Greenwich practice had everything there..MRI, Neurologists, etc so I did not have to go to many different places to be treated. I could not have asked for more. (5 Star Review on Google from C.P.)

Dr. Fiore and Dr. Apostolides: Spine

Dr. Fiore– When sharp pain shooting down my leg began to wake me up at night, I was very worried that the decades of heavy work-related travel combined with sitting behind a desk for very long hours were catching up with me. An MRI and exam revealed that I had severe spinal stenosis, scoliosis and degenerative disc disease.

A New Yorker for 30 years, I was inclined to believe the notion that if you had a medical problem, you had to see a ‘top surgeon in the city.’ So I went to that top doctor and had spine surgery at a major New York hospital, which was not successful. My problems worsened.

In the meantime, my father, age 85, developed a serious spinal problem that required a 10-hour, complicated spinal fusion. Furthermore, he had quadruple bypass surgery a year and a half before, making him a high risk patient. That was when I met Dr. Amory Fiore, the talented neurosurgeon who performed the difficult surgery on my father that rescued him from severe pain and restored his ability to walk.

So when my own spine condition deteriorated two years later, I turned to my father’s surgeon in Greenwich for help. Dr. Fiore said I would need a spinal fusion on the same disc that was operated on in New York. He and his colleague Dr. Paul Apostolides did the surgery, and this time I recovered beautifully. I did my PT religiously, walked a mile with my dog each day, and within months I was completely pain free.

Eighteen months later, I started to have pain in my lower spine. An MRI showed instability in two more vertebra and disc degeneration. Dr. Fiore said I would need another surgery to fix the problem. This time they did a triple spinal fusion. Surprisingly, I was up and out of bed and doing stairs at Greenwich Hospital the next afternoon. Again, my recovery went smoothly, and since then I have had no pain and have regained complete mobility. I have even played 18 holes of golf with my surgeon. Now, if only Dr. Fiore could come up with a surgery to fix my golf game…

I am so thankful to Dr. Fiore, Dr. Apostolides and the ONS therapists for not only giving me my life back but allowing me to have more fun in my life too. (E.S.)

Dr. Fiore and Dr. Camel

These doctors have saved my life 2 times. Originally it was Dr. Camel and this time happened to be Dr. Fiore. I always send my friends and family the ONS information and tell them how great the practice is. Thank you once again! (Patient Survey)

Dr. Fiore: Back Surgery

I feel like I’ve gotten my life back after having back surgery performed by Dr. Fiore. He was honest, thorough, patient and kind. I was able to walk without pain the day after surgery and slowly (you have to take it easy for 6 weeks) learned how to move, bend and use my body correctly with physical therapy. Thank you Dr. Fiore. (5 Star Review on Google from E.R.)

Dr. Fiore: L4/5 Back Surgery

Best doctor I’ve ever met! Super knowledgeable, straight to the point, highly skilled surgeon. Had my lower back (L4/5) surgery with him. It’s been 10 years now. I have a yearly follow up and have never felt better. I struggled with lower back pain for over 15 years. I wouldn’t recommend anyone else but him for back surgery. (5 Star Review on Healthgrades from P.T.)

Dr. Fiore: Spine Surgery

I wish there were 100 stars available for Dr. Fiore. He is that good, dedicated, compassionate and knowledgeable. I have been his patient, due to hereditary spine diseases, for over ten years now, and even other neurosurgeons are in awe of the results he has achieved on my spine. My entire spine, except cervical, is fused. I have total mobility and walk standing tall and with perfect posture. Each surgery has had a wonderful result, and his ability to instill confidence in me has been a huge part of my recovery. Awesome neurosurgeon and person. (comment from RateMD)

Dr. Heftler

Dr. Heftler and Dr. Sethi

My experience with the entire ONS practice is nothing short of exceptional. The doctors are beyond caring and are professional and respectful of my time which is almost unheard of these days. I recommend your facility for both Dr. Heftler and Dr. Sethi to anyone wanting fantastic quality and care. (Patient Survey)

Dr. Heftler: Back

Dr. Heftler is wonderful. He shows exceptional bedside manner and spends plenty of time with each patient. My back issues have placed a lot of strain on me, and it has been comforting to have a doctor like him work with me using non-surgical treatments. Highly recommended. (Patient Survey)

Dr. Heftler: Chronic Pain

I have living with chronic pain for years from a 14 year-old injury … I didn’t realize how used to it I had gotten. For the last 2 1/2 years, the pain became debilitating and I’ve gone to SO MANY doctors with no answers or guidance except physical therapy and meds and stretching! CLEARLY this wasn’t helping. One day I saw an ad for ONS on TV,  then a billboard on the highway and decided it was worth one more try. While they didn’t have insurance compatibility yet in Harrison which is more convenient for me …  they did in Greenwich and I went to see Dr. Heftler.  I ran a couple minutes late and was stressing because usually doctors’ offices are so rude when you run late ….. but  she couldn’t have been more patient, understanding and put me at ease.  At  my first visit, Dr. Heftler was super helpful and asked me questions no other doctors had.  He prescribed  something no one else had that helped to slowly reduce the pain. I’ve had 5 MRIs and not one doctor asked if I had had one with contrast until Dr. Heftler. I then had one with contrast and he found the problem. Now onto the next steps. I couldn’t be more relieved, grateful, validated and appreciative. Thank you so much for thinking outside the box to figure it out. You have no idea what you did for me. I will recommend this establishment to everyone I know … (5 star review on Google written by E.C.)

Dr. Heftler: Epidural Injection

Dr. Heftler has an excellent bedside manner and takes his time with you. I was just in for an epidural injection for a bad herniation of my L5-S1 and he provided me with the time I needed, to be certain all of my questions were answered. On the day of the procedure, the doctor was extremely pleasant and kept my mind calm with plenty of fun conversation. My fingers are crossed that I get some relief from the injection, but hands down he is highly recommended and I won’t go anywhere else. (comment from Health Grades)

Dr. Kessel

I am so grateful for Dr. Kessel. She is professional without being off-putting, caring, able to listen to concerns, and does the procedure with minimal discomfort. She is supportive of the treatment we are doing in the present and in the future, and does not set up a scenario where surgery is to be expected. Dr. Kessel is always positive about the future of my condition and I thank her for that. Also, the in office and front office staff across the board is caring, pleasant, professional, and comforting. I always feel better after an appointment with Dr. Kessel, even if I am in pain. She and her staff have an exceptional placebo effect on my pain and I love them all for that. (Patient Survey)

Dr. Levchenko

Dr Levchevko was great. He was able to listen to all my concerns and provide great feedback to all my questions. He followed up during the time I was in really bad pain. I will recommend him anytime. (5 Star review on RateMD)


Dr. Levchenko

Dr. Levchenko was very patient and listened to everything I wanted to say. He was very thoughtful in his examination and diagnosis.(5 Star review on RateMD)

Dr. Levchenko

This doctor is an excellent specialist, very compassionate and caring.  The stuff is excellent as well.  (5 star review on Healthgrades by E. in New York)

Dr. Levchenko

I left the appointment with confidence that my issue could be treated. Dr. Levchenko was very clear with the information he provided and was also very kind. (5 star review on Healthgrades from J. in Greenwich)

Dr. Levchenko

Dr. Levchenko was professional, thorough and clear. I cannot say enough positive things about him. (Five Star Review on Healthgrades from S.)

Dr. Nocek, Dr. Heftler, Fey: Herniated Disc, Sciatica

“Having recently completed four months of treatment at ONS, I wanted to share my positive experience as too many times this recognition may not be communicated.  Suffering from an old injury of a herniated disc, David Nocek, MD determined it had developed into sciatica.  Early physical therapy sessions with Fey Adamarola, DPT, had temporary relief,  so I was referred to Jeffrey Heftler, MD to get my pain to lower levels to pave the way for an aggressive PT regimen.  It was Fey’s positive outlook that gave me the confidence to stay the course and lead to a very positive outcome. I am grateful to the full team at ONS.” (E.H.)

Dr. Sahler

Dr. Sahler is very compassionate, listens to you, works with you to plan treatment. (5 star review on Healthgrades from P.B. in Wilton, CT)

Dr. Sahler

Dr Sahler puts you at ease immediately and explains everything really well. My procedure today was a little nerve racking for me but everything went so smoothly and I didn’t feel any pain at all. He’s awesome. (5 Star Review on Healthgrades from S.G. in Stamford, CT)

Dr. Sahler: Back and Neck Pain

Great visit. I came in because of pain in my upper back/neck. Dr. Sahler was friendly and concerned and spent time asking me questions about my sports activity and lifestyle. After having me x-rayed, he was really great about showing me the x-rays on his laptop and clearly walking me through what the issue was (it was ligament-related in my neck…a sprain). It was also good that he showed me what was healthy + good about my spine too. We then talked about simple lifestyle changes. (5 Star Review on Healthgrades)

Dr. Sahler: Back Surgery

Dr. Sahler has provided exceptionally good care taking patience and gave a long view in tracking down and treating residual pain after back surgery. He provided as much art and detective work as traditional medicine. I am grateful that he has stayed with the chosen course because with each treatment, the pain is less and I become closer to getting my old life back. (Patient Survey)

Dr. Sahler: Lumbar Injection

Dr. Sahler is incredible! I was in a ton of pain and it felt like I was being stabbed in my back every time I got out of the car and up from my desk. I had fluoroscopic lumbar spin injections at the new surgery center  and felt immediate relief during the procedure. I had full relief within a few days!!! ONS has a great group of doctors and a wonderful support staff!!! I proudly and gladly call the the doctors at ONS MY Doctors!!! RV-C (Facebook)

Dr. Sahler: Spine

I want to thank Dr. Sahler for the tremendous job he did giving my daughter an injection and taking the time and effort to have a heart to heart talk with her. In my experience, most doctors wouldn’t take the time to do that, usually next in line is right at the door. She really had a connection with him and I wanted to make sure all of the time that he gave us was very much appreciated. (D.S.)

Dr. Simon

Dr. Simon is compassionate and attentive. His medical expertise is only surpassed by his humble demeanor. (S.R.)

Dr. Simon

Dr. Simon is an exceptional doctor. His skill set as both a neurosurgeon and spine surgeon set him apart from the field, lending him a much finer quality to his diagnosis as well as surgical skills. In my initial discussions with the Dr., he picked up on things that others were unaware of, and was generally better informed than anyone else I met with regarding my health and choices to heal. The quality of his bedside manner and surgical prowess is outstanding. When other doctors see my scar, I am regularly treated to exclamations regarding how excellent the work is. I credit him and his wonderful team with providing me with a new and better life. (comment from RateMD)

Dr. Simon

Dr Simon took his time with me to explain why I was in so much pain ! I had surgery 1 year ago & am doing great! If not for Dr Simon’s expertise and follow up care after surgery I can’t imagine where I would be today! I highly recommend him ! (5 Star Review on Healthgrades)

Dr. Simon

Very through exam and good advice, anything to avoid surgery! Pain all gone and back to normal, highly recommend Dr. Simon. (5 Star Review on Healthgrades)

Dr. Simon

He is an amazing doctor, he pays attention to his clients & every visit I’ve had he has made me feel comfortable (although I’m in pain) I would recommend him 100%. (5 Star Review on Google from R.)

Dr. Simon

Dr Simon gives his full attention and listens carefully. He explains his thoughts clearly. I appreciate that he is very conservative about resorting to surgery. (5 Star Review on Google from K.K.)

Dr. Simon

Dr. Simon was wonderful, kind, and compassionate. He explained everything in detail thoroughly. The staff was also very thoughtful and extremely helpful, especially Lisa who is the nurse and MRI scheduler. It was an absolutely pleasant experience. (Patient Survey)

Dr. Simon

Thank you Dr. Simon for the tremendous work you have been doing. You are such a great doctor! (Patient Survey)

Dr. Simon

I saw Dr. Simon today. He asked all relevant questions and did series of tests (none of which the Neurologist or Physiologist in Stamford had done when I saw each of them separately last year.) He is an excellent listener and provides substantive insights. While my issues appear to be systemic and not directly spine related, I highly recommend him based on his thoroughness, professionalism and taking the time to listen with care. (5 Star review on Healthgrades from  55 year old patient from Ridgefield, CT

Dr. Simon

Dr Simon is a compassionate and very clear and thorough specialist. He is very experienced in a complicated surgery that was needed and someone who inspires trust. I would highly recommend him. (5 Star Review left on Healthgrades by B.)

Dr. Simon

Dr. Simon is absolutely one of the most caring, considerate, and capable doctors I have ever had the pleasure of taking care of me. (Patient Survey)

Dr. Simon

Dr Scott Simon is as GOOD as it gets!! I would never go to anyone else and would trust him with my life! He is caring, empathetic, so kind and gives me all the time in the world whenever I need him! Cannot say enough about him – no one in my entire medical history compares to Dr. Simon in any way shape or form!! And of course he is a great surgeon!! (from D.H. patient survey)

Dr. Simon

We greatly appreciate the care I was given and the concern shown by Dr. Simon. Thank you! (R.S.)

Dr. Simon: Back

Dr. Simon has worked on my husband many times. There is absolutely no other doctor I would go to for back problems. He is the best! (Patient Survey)

Dr. Simon: Back Pain

I went to see Dr. Simon after two back surgeries with another doctor. At first he thought I might need a third surgery, but when he looked at my back, he saw I had a slight rash. He took a picture of the rash, called the hospital to speak with disease control, and sent a doctor the picture. The conclusion, it was Shingles! I was amazed at his level of caring, and can’t recommend him enough. In all my years, I’ve never seen a more diligent doctor. Need room here to add more adjectives! The BEST!   (5 star review on Healthgrades by M.T. in Pound Ridge NY)

Dr. Simon: Brain Surgery

Dr. Simon- 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, who 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.

Dr. Simon: Chronic Back Pain

Excellent Surgeon I would definitely recommend Dr Simon! After suffering with back pain for 3 years I finally have relief after Dr Simon was able to correct the issue causing my pain ! Great Surgeon! (5 star review on Healthgrades from P.C., Harrison, NY)

Dr. Simon: Cyberknife

Dr. Simon– 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.

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.”

Dr. Simon: Hemicraniectomy

In Spring of 2007, fourteen-year-old JL 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  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. JL 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, JL 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, JL’s life has returned to normal.

Dr. Simon: MRI

I have been going to Dr. Simon for over 5 years now. He consistently comes up with new ways to help my chronic back pain when there seems to be no options available. He has called on weekends and holidays to check in and discuss MRI results. He is willing to call other affiliated doctors in order to do specific procedures. Not only is he extremely personable and patient, but he also truly cares about each patient and takes the time to understand the pain and discusses all the possible options. (comment from Health Grades)

Dr. Simon: Pituitary Tumor

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.

Dr. Simon: Spinal Fusion

Distance runner F.H., age 72, is training for her 33rd half-marathon. While running races at her age is a remarkable feat in itself, FH’s accomplishments are even more noteworthy considering she underwent a 9-hour fusion surgery 14 months ago. “I had complete confidence in the skill of Dr. Simon. He is a talented surgeon and a wonderful human being,” FH said recently. “My only regret is that I waited so long and was miserable for all those months.” Read FH’s full story.


Dr. Simon: Spinal Fusion

Kastriot Djema.webDr. Simon is just awesome,” said mixed martial arts fighter KD, whose slipped cervical disk went from bad to worse after getting hit in the face while training for a fight last New Year’s Eve.  Until then, he had managed his neck pain with the help of physical therapy.  But on that night, KD immediately lost feeling in his left hand and knew that, without surgery to correct the condition, he would never fight again.  Within three weeks of having a cervical spinal fusion, the 22-year old athlete was back in the gym regaining his strength. On June 18, he fought for the first time since the procedure and won with a first round knock out. Now he’s training for his professional debut at Mohegan Sun in the fall. “I feel a hundred percent healthier than I was before the surgery.  I don’t have the pain in my neck or going down my back any more, and my left hand feels stronger than ever.”  K.D. (cervical spinal fusion)

Dr. Simon: Spine

Dr. Simon – On behalf of our family, my mom, my daughter and myself, a huge thank you! I am so grateful you were able to identify what was wrong with my mom. You didn’t look at her like she was being dramatic about the pain. You listened to her and took her seriously. You are truly a great doctor. The doctor before you said there was nothing they can do for my mom. It was pain from the stroke. My mom and I knew differently, therefore we asked for a second opinion. If it wasn’t for you, my mom would have died. As a result, her mental attitude is better since she saw you. She now knows there is a reason for the pain… thanks for taking her seriously and listening.

Dr. Simon: Spine

Dr. Simon – Thank you from the bottom of my feet! No back pain. No leg pain. No numb feet!! Just wanted to say thanks and I’d thank you more but my feet don’t go down any lower.

Dr. Simon: Spine

Dr. Simon & Staff – Thank you so very much for your professional and courteous services that you extended to us and the amazing health care that Dr. Simon gave. You turned our serious concerns to a blessed conclusion. We are very grateful.

Dr. Simon: Spine

Dr. Simon–  You’ve given me hope when I had none. Thank you for your compassion and encouragement, but most of all thank you for my mobility!

Dr. Simon: Spine

Dr. Simon–  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.)

Dr. Simon: Spine

Dr. Simon – Thank you for being so kind and helpful to our family! You’re the best and we appreciate you and your great medical care.

Dr. Simon: Spine

Dear Dr. Simon – The month of April will be the 16th month since you performed your miracle for “L” and her family. “L” recently performed by singing and dancing in a musical, and seeing her on stage entertaining the audience and enjoying it herself, all I could think of was “thank you Dr. Simon” “you are the tops” with much gratitude, “L’s”

Dr. Simon: Spine

Dear Dr. Simon – Thank you for being such a wonderful person. I am very grateful for the care you have given me.

Dr. Simon: Spine

Dr. Simon – I came to you resigned and emotional exhausted and today I awake to pain-free days with renewed hope for the future.

Dr. Simon: Spine

Dr. Simon – I just wanted to thank you again for taking 6 weeks of extreme leg pain away so quickly. You are one of the best doctors I’ve ever had and you made surgery not such a scary experience. Thank you for your caring and kindness.

Dr. Simon: Spine

Dr. Simon – I’d like to thank you again for all the kindness you showed me and for helping save my life during this recent time in my life. Your care factor has made a big difference for us. My plan is to knock this thing out and I feel I’m on my way. Thanks again for your skill and caring.

Dr. Simon: Spine

Dr. Simon – The holidays are a time of much gratitude for us and this year we are extremely thankful for the difference you have made in our lives. We are expecting our first child this coming April and we would not be in this place had it not been for you taking the risk and braving the odds. We are where we are because you made a difference.

Dr. Simon: Spine

Dr. Simon– For two years, C.D. of Trumbull, 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.”

CD 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.)

Dr. Simon: Spine

Dr. Simon– 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.

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. (Cyberknife)

Dr. Simon: Spine Surgery

Thank you, Dr. Simon and Team.  From surgery to Paris in less than six months! Your 4 – 5 excavation and flying buttresses worked. I went from sitting to circumvent numb legs to striding to keep pace with my brothers: Notre Dame, Montmartre, Eiffel Tower. Merveilleux!  Longest lasting side effects: Balance still improving. Smiles still excessive. (Comments in a letter from M.Y.)

Dr.Simon: S1 Fusion Surgery