Top Reasons to Choose Dr. Lenke

Choosing the Right Spinal Deformity Surgeon

Choosing the right spinal deformity surgeon is a major decision for you and your family. But it’s not an easy task! How can you be sure you’re choosing an expert? To help you make a wise decision, we recommend using the 5 steps below to evaluate each surgeon you’re considering:

  1. Experience: Are they experienced with spinal deformity surgery?
  2. Reputation: Do they have a good reputation with other surgeons?
  3. Research: What research have they published? How has it improved surgical care for patients?
  4. Teaching: Do they teach and train other spinal deformity surgeons?
  5. Integrity: Do you feel you can trust them? What do other patients say about them?

If a surgeon scores highly when evaluated against these questions, you’re heading in the right direction.

Many surgeons worldwide view Dr. Lenke as one of the top, (if not the top), spinal deformity surgeons in the world. However, don’t take our word for it! We’ve answered the questions listed above so you can decide if Dr. Lenke is the right surgeon for you.

How EXPERIENCED is the surgeon with spinal deformity surgery?

  • Dr. Lenke has spent 23 years specializing in spinal deformity surgery, with the past 16 years dedicated to spinal deformity cases 100% of the time. This experience and focus is part of the reason that surgeons from around the world send Dr. Lenke patients they don’t feel able to treat themselves.
  • Two of the most powerful and challenging surgical techniques in spinal deformity surgery are PSOs (Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomies) and VCRs (Vertebral Column Resections). Dr. Lenke is currently recognized as the world’s leading authority on these techniques, having performed more of these procedures (approximately 450) than any other surgeon in the last 20 years.

Does Dr. Lenke have a good reputation with other surgeons?

Dr. Lenke’s reputation is outstanding! For example:

  • More than 700 spine surgeons from the US and 60 other countries have visited Dr. Lenke to observe him in surgery and learn from him.
  • In the last 20 years, Dr. Lenke has trained more than 70 clinical fellows (young surgeons who are dedicating their careers to spinal deformity surgery). In fact, there’s a very good chance that some of the other surgeons you might be considering were trained by Dr. Lenke!
  • In 2010, Dr. Lenke became one of the youngest surgeons ever to be elected President of the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS). The SRS is the oldest and most prestigious society for spine surgeons in the world.

What RESEARCH has the spine surgeon published and how recently?

How has it helped improve surgical care for patients?

Dr. Lenke is the most widely published spinal deformity surgeon ever. He has published nearly 400 peer-reviewed research manuscripts, approximately 100 invited articles, and 125 book chapters. He has also edited 5 textbooks.

• He is the originator and lead author of the seminal paper: A New Classification of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis: Treatment Based, which was published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery in 2001. This paper was recently acknowledged as the most widely cited spinal deformity paper ever published.

  • Reflecting Dr. Lenke’s expertise in both adult and pediatric spinal deformity surgery, he is currently the lead surgeon investigator in two major research projects:
    • The Scoli-Risk 1 Study. This international investigation involves 15 centers in 9 countries and 51 surgeons. Dr. Lenke has enrolled more patients in the study than any other surgeon. The study will provide extraordinary insight into complications associated with complex adult spinal deformity surgery.
    • The Fox Prospective Pediatric Spinal Deformity Study. Involving 25 surgeons from 13 US pediatric centers, Dr. Lenke has personally enrolled the most patients in the project. The results of the research will significantly impact how kids with severe spinal deformities will be treated for years to come.

Does the spinal deformity surgeon TEACH and TRAIN other surgeons?

  • Dr. Lenke has taught spinal deformity surgeons in 42 countries on 6 continents. Remarkably, he has chaired over 110 spinal surgery conferences, been on faculty for more than 250 spine conferences, and served as invited Visiting Professor at more than 100 prestigious institutions around the world.

Can you TRUST the surgeon? What do his/her patients have to say?

Choosing a spine surgeon isn’t just about their skills and research work. One of the most important issues is trust between the surgeon and patient. Does (s)he care about his/her patients? Is (s)he a person of integrity? The following examples provide a good insight into Dr. Lenke’s character:

  • Each year, Dr. Lenke commits a significant amount of time to performing surgeries and training surgeons in 2nd and 3rd world countries. He does this free of charge and at his own expense, for one reason: he cares about patients with spinal deformities and knows that he has a surgical gift that can change their lives.
  • Dr. Lenke recognizes the immense trust that a patient and their family must invest when they choose him to perform their surgery. In respect of this trust, Dr. Lenke invests great time and effort into improving safety in spine surgery procedures. It’s a passion that leads him to work tirelessly to perform spinal deformity surgery as safely and effectively as possible.

Of course, you may still have questions as to whether or not Dr. Lenke is the surgeon for you to see. We encourage you to take a look around this website, especially at some of the patient stories, to help you make your choice. Whatever you decide, we hope that you have a safe and successful outcome to your spinal deformity surgery!