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Billy Chen

New York, NY

I found out about my scoliosis at the age of 15 when my mother noticed my right shoulder blade was subtly protruding. At the time, my curvature was around 20-30 degrees. We tried every possible non-surgical treatment ranging from physical therapy to wearing a back brace, but nothing worked. As time passed, my curvature was getting worse. At the time, we were not living in the U.S., and each surgeon we visited did not seem confident or competent enough to do the surgery. On top of that, I have Marfan Syndrome, which doctors were not very familiar with but knew would complicate the surgery. Because of this, we decided hold off on any type of surgery.

After I moved to New York for college, my family and I agreed I was in the best place to find a spine surgeon. After seeing a few doctors, I was referred to Dr. Kim. After seeing so many doubtful doctors, it was one of the most relieving experiences having my first appointment with Dr. Kim. Despite my 100+ degree curvature, he was extremely confident that he could perform my surgery. Seeing the extensive research Dr. Kim did in preparation for the surgery assured me that I was in very good hands.

After two months of halo-gravity traction (HGT) pre-surgery, nine hours of spinal fusion surgery, and four months of post-operative recovery, I am now writing this to show my gratitude toward all the doctors, nurses, and office staff at HSS who helped me throughout this process. Even with two more months of post-operative precautions, I am feeling better than I ever had. Just last year, I was convinced I'd have severe scoliosis for the rest of my life. I am forever grateful for what Dr. Kim and his team were able to do for me.