Success Stories


You Don't Play at Boxing: Danny Jacobs
With a malignant tumor poised to crush his spine, Danny Jacobs thought he'd never walk again, let alone box. Dr. Härtl got him back on his feet, and back into the ring. In August 2014, Danny Jacobs became the middleweight champion of the world.

Letters from Our Patients


From time to time we receive letters from patients letting us know how they're doing. We very much appreciate hearing from all our patients and are gratified to know that our efforts results in excellent outcomes. Here are a few of our favorites:

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Patient: ER

The ease of getting an appointment is reason enough to give Dr. Sein 5 stars. The office is friendly and very efficient. Once I was in the examining room Dr. Sein saw me right away. He is informative without being alarmist. He listened carefully and discussed my options. I feel that I am in good hands with Dr. Sein. I love the Cornell Patient Portal. Most of my doctors are with Cornell and they have immediate access to all my medical records on line. It saves a lot of time.

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Patient: Barbara
Diagnosis: Stress Fracture

I have had very severe right leg pain since October 2016. I have had several tests done including CAT scans, x-rays and MRIs along with a four day hospitalization and lastly two epidurals with no help nor any definitive diagnosis. There was no relief from the pain. My physician at Weill Cornell Medicine introduced me to Dr. Ethan Rand when he concluded back surgery would not help. I cannot tell you how lucky I am to have met Dr. Rand.

He listened, questioned, analyzed and did various tests to try to discover what was wrong with me. We finally got an accurate diagnosis when he sent me for an MRI of the knee. A stress fracture of the knee is difficult because I am unable to manage as much as I would like to keep all weight off of the injured leg. Dr. Rand has been intellectually plus emotionally supportive with a very difficult diagnosis plus healing for me to deal with. I cannot overstate how highly I regard Dr. Ethan Rand as a physician, diagnostician and human being. You are fortunate indeed to have a physician such as he on your staff.

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Patient: Antoinette
Diagnosis: Spine tumor

For seven months I suffered terrible back and leg pain. I could not walk during the day. I could not sleep at night. I was not responding to any suggested treatment. Fortunately my doctor knew of Dr. Roger Härtl and he recommended I see him.

In one diagnostic visit he was able to ascertain the issues and prescribe corrective surgery. The surgery went without problems. I am well on my way to a pain-free recovery. Because of Dr. Härtl's skill and his commitment to my wellbeing, along with the Weill Cornell Physicians surgical team and the nurses at New York-Presbyterian, I know what is meant when they say, "How can we help you?" Thanks to Dr. Härtl I am on a path to a pain-free life.

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Patient: Michael
Diagnosis: Spinal Stenosis

I am pleased to share my experiences on the spinal surgery by Dr. Roger Härtl at Weill Cornell. It is just over two months since the operation and it seems to be an outstanding success.

When I was first diagnosed with spinal stenosis eight years ago all doctors gave me one piece of advice: Do NOT have back surgery. It must only be a last resort. So in the interim I tried everything for relief, from acupuncture to P.T. to spinal injections to chiropractics. When it became clear that the stenosis was becoming more acute and preventing me from having a normal life I went to my G.P., Dr. Richard Cohen. He advised me to consult with Dr. Roger Härtl. Luckily while I was wasting years trying to treat the symptoms of stenosis a minimally invasive surgical process was developed — and I was told it was just right for my type of stenosis.

The operation took place on a Monday morning and I was home by Tuesday morning. The second and third lumbar bones were the object of the process. My recovery was all but painless except for the first few days (managed with Tylenol). Over the weeks I have found that the operation has done wonders for my mobility, increasing with each day. Where I was once able only to walk 2 or 3 city blocks before feeling the need to stop to rest, I am now able to walk many, many blocks — in fact I’ve not yet reached a point of needing to rest. I can walk about museums, stores, and parks, stand in one spot for long periods with no ill effects. The numbness and tingling that once warned me that my legs were about to freeze has disappeared. In a nutshell: the surgery has been life-changing.

I am about to start the program of physical therapy and I anticipate that the activity will only enhance my ability to move about, and strengthen the muscles.

Dr. Härtl has warned that the third and fourth lumbar bones, which have also been affected but less so than those treated, may one day need the same attention. If so, I would not hesitate to have the surgery again.

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Patient: Iris
Age: 42
Diagnosis: Degenerative Disc Disease

"I just wanted to write and say THANK YOU. I have been suffering with lower back pain for years and on Feb. 1 Dr. Eric Elowitz changed my life. He performed a minimally invasive spinal fusion and I now have my life back. I am only 41 years old and I was at the point where I couldn't make it through a whole night at work or even take a walk with my husband. It is only two weeks later and I actually ran across the intersection on my way to Dr. Elowitz's office for my follow-up.

It doesn't stop there. I have never in my life been treated as well as I have by every single employee that I came into contact with, from my office visits with Dr. Elowitz to the guards at the front door when we walked into the Medical Center. (I refer to your facility as a Medical Center because it is like no other Hospital that I have ever been in.) I do not have the words to thank your staff. The pre-op and post-op staff did everything to calm my fears and comfort my pain.

The nurses and staff on Baker 15 not only made me feel better but welcomed my husband and son with open arms, even offering to get my husband a cot so he could stay the night. When he declined he had no problem returning at 4 a.m. to be by my side.

I could probably go on and on but I just want to say you have a staff and facility that you can be very proud of. Dr. Elowitz is a miracle worker and once again, I must say thank you to him and you for changing my life."

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Patient: Dawn Kaplan
Age: 56
Diagnosis: Herniated Disk

Dawn Kaplan was on vacation in Italy in the fall of 2010 when she first experienced back pain. It struck as she and her husband strolled down a mountainside; by the time they reached the bottom she could barely walk... Read more.

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Patient: Christina

"Dr. Sein was amazing! I have been so impressed with every doctor and staff member I have seen at Cornell. He saw me on time, and was professional but laid back - no airs about him and he created an environment where I felt very comfortable, more like I was having a conversation with a friend about my medical issues. Very knowledgeable - great doctor and person! Couldn't recommend more highly."

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Patient: Anonymous

"Dr rand apologized for being late ,20 minutes wait time. Will take that any day of the week!! Anyway , he was more than pleasant , and a good listener . But most of all, he was very through and a good plan for my condition."

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Patient: Anonymous

"I owe my life to the Dr. Singh I got the best possible treatment and owe my life to the Dr Singh I had pain for 18 years and couldn't walk, but he has helped me tremendously"

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  • Care for a Broad Range of Spinal Conditions