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Tara Stevens

White Plains, NY
  • Tara Stevens in the photo 1

I am an active 60 year old woman who moved to New York from Pennsylvania in June, 2015. I had been having back pain with radiculopathy for several years. I saw a surgeon at local medical center for 3 years, who initially recommended conservative treatment. After 6 epidural corticosteroid injections, 3 rounds of physical therapy, and daily oral diclofenac, I was still getting worse. My surgeon and I felt surgery was my only alternative. He recommended a fusion of L4-5, and L5-S1. I scheduled surgery and had another MRI in preparation. When I read the radiologist's interpretation of the MRI, it was clear that I had a significant spondylolisthesis at L3-4, which was, radiographically, my worst level.

Since I was now living in New York due to my career, I decided to seek a second opinion at HSS. Based on my research, I chose to see Dr. Darren Lebl. Thankfully, he agreed to see me almost immediately. Within a few weeks, I had had a diagnostic CAT Scan, and met with Dr. Lebl. He felt, consistent with the MRI from the previous medical center, that my worst issue was at L3-4, but that I also had a cyst and significant bone spurs at L4-5. He felt that while I had stenosis at L5-S1, that I would be able to cope with that. He recommended a fusion at L3-4, with the insertion of an artificial disc, and a laminotomy at L4-5 for removal of the cyst and osteophytes.

I was so totally impressed with, and confident in, Dr. Lebl, that I scheduled my surgery that day. I had that surgery on January 11th, and it was a resounding success. I am virtually pain-free today, and have no remaining nerve symptoms. The attached picture is of me (yes without makeup and with my hair a mess!) when I just finished walking a mile at Kensico Dam, 10 days after my surgery!!! Additionally, my Husband and I took a very active trip to Alaska for 15 days in May, and I was back to playing golf in July. I can't say enough about Dr. Lebl. He is a tremendously gifted surgeon, who truly cares about his patients. He always spent all of the time that I needed when I saw him in the hospital or his office, and he thoroughly explained the surgical procedure and my expected result and recovery, to both my Husband and me. He personally came to see me each of the 7 days that I was in the hospital, which is unprecedented. I have recommended him to others already, and my Boss' husband is scheduled for surgery with Dr. Lebl in October. I will continue to see Dr. Lebl for any back problems I experience in the future, regardless of where I may be living. I don't think you could find a better or more caring spine surgeon anywhere!! Thank you so very much Dr. Lebl, for getting me back in the game!