Patient Stories

Every one of our orthopedic patients has their own journey and story to tell. Our patients inspire us every day—and their stories are ours, as well. They underline our commitment to providing outstanding and personalized care. Read their moving experiences.

Patient Overcomes Fear of Back Surgery and Makes Full Recovery
March 2024
With encouragement from her daughter, and after years of pain, Maxine Heumann underwent spinal surgery at The Mount Sinai Hospital to relieve sciatica and to realign the curvature of her spine

Emergency Spine Surgery at Mount Sinai West Saves a Young Professional Golfer From Paralysis
November 2023
Luis Vega, 27, was on vacation with his girlfriend in New York City when he awoke one night unable to move his legs

Spine Surgery Gives Relief to a Patient After Years of Misdiagnoses and Severe Back Pain
June 2023
By 2021, Maria Passannante-Derr’s back pain had become so severe she could hardly walk; compassionate and expert care at The Mount Sinai Hospital’s Orthopedics Department changed her life for the better

Relieving Hip Pain by Focusing on the Lower Back
December 27, 2021
By using a variety of minimally invasive treatments, Mount Sinai Interventional Spine and Sports Medicine team “thrills” a patient.

After a Neck Injury and a Decade of Pain, Young Woman Has Her Life Back
October 15, 2021
Spinal Fusion at the Mount Sinai Spine Center Allows Leah Dorfman to Live Pain-Free

Former NFL Player Receives Orthopedic Care From Mount Sinai Hospital Surgeon With Football Background
June 8, 2021
Six months post-surgery performed by Paul J. Cagle, Jr., MD, Bobby Sewall was bench pressing 315 pounds

Years of Back Pain “Disappeared” after Successful Surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital
June 8, 2021
After discovering she suffered from spinal stenosis, Gail was referred to James D. Lin, MD who performed the successful procedure

After Knee Surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital, Patient Climbs Mount Kilimanjaro and Skis the Slopes of Japan and Sweden
January 12, 2021
Thanks to Alexis Colvin, MD and an expert rehabilitation team, Viktor Frisk has returned to his athletic endeavors.

“Awesome” Team and “Best” Surgeon put CrossFit fan on Road to Recovery
July 21, 2020
Sidelined by a shoulder tear, Jessika Widerman thanks a skilled surgeon and his team for a successful repair, performed safely during challenging times.

After COVID-19 Forces Postponement, a Successful and Safe Surgery
July 1, 2020
Levi Goldfarb, active in both winter and summer sports, was eager to have shoulder surgery, but was forced to wait during the height of the COVID-19 crisis. May 12 was his big day, and he was impressed by safety precautions at Mount Sinai Hospital and his surgeon, Leesa Galatz, MD.

Patient Testimonials

“In 2001 I fractured my right hip in an accident and had surgery where three large compression screws were inserted into the neck of the femur. I had a good recovery and was fine for many years, but then developed pain in the right hip. X-rays showed that I had developed avascular necrosis. The head of the femur was dying from lack of blood flow, and a total joint replacement was the only option to relieve the worsening pain that was causing me to limp and have difficulty climbing stairs. Even though I’m past retirement age, I still work and plan to continue for as long as possible. From the very first meeting with Dr. Calin Moucha, I felt very confident that I had been recommended to the right surgeon. He was easy to talk to and explained what needed to happen very clearly. I had an excellent experience at Mt. Sinai Hospital for the brief two days that I was there. Having had major surgeries before, I appreciated that general anesthesia was avoided as there are better alternatives now, which make for a faster recovery. The entire staff was great, and even though the removal of the old embedded screws made it a tougher surgery, it was very successful, and I’ve had a good recovery. The surgery has allowed me to go back to work without debilitating pain. I continue my therapy exercises at home and feel stronger all the time.”

Zoe, Patient of Dr. Calin Moucha

“Thank you so much for fixing my ankle. I am very grateful for all the hard work and effort you put into it, everyone has been so kind.”

Patient of Dr. Abigail Allen

"Thank you so much for your assistance and advice this morning. More so, thank you for your skill and professionalism through the operation. My experience was one of being in safe and caring hands. Not that I want to ever have to go through this again but it truly has been a pleasure to meet you and I can’t thank my PCP Dr. Vega and Dr. Cardozo enough for their recommendation.

Please stay well.

PS - Your surgical team were fabulous. Please thank them whenever for their skill and caring attention."

Patient of Dr. Alexis Colvin

Erika had a posterior spinal fusion with Dr. Lonner and recently celebrated her 10 year post-op anniversary! She’s doing amazing and still dancing her way to the top!

Patient of Dr. Baron Lonner

"January 15 began a three-week journey which included:

  • Falling onto a Manhattan sidewalk exiting a revolving door
  • Heard and felt my wrist bones breaking, ankle sprain, etc.
  • Surgery January 29 (see titanium plate with 9 screws)
  • Yesterday cast off and removable one made!

Despite this unfortunate and scary accident, there were always ‘silver linings’ along the way. Thankful for George Lence stepping up to the plate and lending his wonderful hands and support and, of course, Dr. Jaehon Kim!

(The hair will have to wait for PT&OT to kick in.)"

Jane, Patient of Dr. Jaehon Kim

 “I called Mt. Sinai Orthopedics without a referral to a specific physician for what turned out to be arthritis of the hip. My treatment began with an unusually caring and responsible associate on the phone. She asked quite specific questions to ensure I got to the right person and finally suggested Dr. Melissa Leber, explaining why Dr. Leber seemed like the right fit. After an efficient intake process, including x-rays, and during a follow-up visit, Dr. Leber could not have been more thorough, kind, and informative. We hear and read about "patient focused" care and it sounds like a platitude. But she wanted to know what kind of treatment would suit me and my lifestyle and even my psychology and personality. We settled on a treatment and I felt that I fully understood what was going on and what the options were. In my case, I felt like a miracle had happened about five minutes after the injection we decided on. One of the most important aspects of this whole story is that I would not dream of going anywhere else if (more likely, when) I need some more or different treatment.”

Jeanne, Patient of Dr. Melissa Leber

“I really appreciate Dr. Lin and always will be grateful for him taking extremely good care of me and resolving my problem with surgery. Prior to the surgery I was completely unable to understand what was going on and the level of pain was huge. Immediately after the surgery the extreme nerve pain was gone and after just a few days I was able to return to work.”

Patient of Dr. James Lin

“Earlier this year I had three tumors removed from my femur by Dr. Iofin. He arranged to see me on very short notice at a clinic in Staten Island, and had me in for surgery in under 2 weeks. Dr. Iofin did a great job and was a wonderful surgeon. I’ve had quite a few surgeries in my life and never had a surgeon that is as responsive as he is. It is really astonishing how nice a guy he is. With the nature of my condition, I’ll probably need surgery again in the future, but I am genuinely a little less concerned knowing I can go back to Dr. Iofin.”

Patient of Dr. Ilya Iofin


"I have only thank yous and compliments for the staff at Mount Sinai, Dr. Bronson in particular, and I feel good, I feel better about it, I can go on."

Melvin, Patient of Dr. Michael Bronson

"It's been a really good experience for some of the patients to say to somebody, "what did you do when this happened?" or "how did you handle it?" To hear it from someone who's in the ‘been there-done that’ class it's been helpful."

Phyllis, Patient of Dr. Calin Moucha

"I was training for an Ironman, on June 28, when a car hit me and broke my arm.

Dr. Kim performed surgery on me on July 8, to repair my broken wrist.

It had been a goal of mine to complete an Ironman. And I wasn’t going to let a broken wrist stop me!!

Last weekend I completed all 140.6 miles at the Maryland Ironman!!!

Thanks to Dr. Kim and all of you for helping this happen!!!"

Patient of Dr. Jaehon Kim