Three World-Class Spinal Surgeons Join NewYork-Presbyterian

The surgeons will establish a state-of-the-art comprehensive spinal surgery hospital in northern Manhattan

Mar 26, 2015


Three leading spinal surgeons are joining NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, effective July 1. Drs. Larry Lenke, Daniel Riew and Ronald Lehman will establish a comprehensive spine hospital at NewYork-Presbyterian/Allen and will also treat patients at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. In addition, they will serve on the faculty of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

“We are thrilled to welcome these renowned, extraordinary surgeons who have made transformative contributions to the field of spinal care and surgery,” said Dr. Steven J. Corwin, CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. “As we expand the scope of our orthopedics program to include a new, comprehensive spine hospital in upper Manhattan, their ability to deliver state-of-the-art, patient-centered spine care of the highest quality will build on our strong foundation. They will be an invaluable resource to patients regionally, nationally and beyond."

“Drs. Larry Lenke, Daniel Riew and Ronald Lehman have an outstanding record of combining research advances with outstanding clinical care,” said Dr. Lee Goldman, dean of the faculties of health sciences and medicine and chief executive of Columbia University Medical Center. “Their expertise on spinal injuries, spinal deformities and degenerative spinal diseases has attracted major federal grants as well as patients from around the world.”

Drs. Lenke, Riew and Lehman take a multi-disciplinary approach to spine care that stresses both surgical and non-surgical options for conditions from the skull to the sacrum. In addition to their excellent clinical reputation, the three physicians, who join NewYork-Presbyterian from Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, have conducted groundbreaking research that has led to numerous advances in the field of spinal surgery.

“Our patients will benefit greatly from their ability to treat a wide array of spinal issues, including some of the rarest and most difficult-to-treat conditions in the world,” said Dr. William Levine, orthopedic surgeon-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. “They will make wonderful additions to the spinal care team at NewYork-Presbyterian.”

Dr. Lawrence Lenke

Dr. Lawrence Lenke is regarded as one of the premier spinal deformity surgeons in the world. His practice is devoted exclusively to spinal deformity surgery, with an emphasis on complex reconstructive surgery in children and adults for conditions such as scoliosis, kyphosis, flatback syndrome and other major spinal imbalances. He will serve as surgeon-in-chief of the spine hospital at NewYork-Presbyterian/Allen and director of spinal deformity surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.

Dr. Lenke developed the classification system for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, which is now referred to as the Lenke Classification System for Scoliosis. In 2013, he was honored with the North American Spine Society’s Leon Wiltse Award for excellence in leadership and/or clinical research in spine care. Dr. Lenke’s prolific academic career includes more than 360 published peer-reviewed manuscripts, five textbooks on spinal surgery and more than 125 textbook chapters. In addition, he served as president of the Scoliosis Research Society 2010-2011, the oldest and most prestigious spine society in the world. As a reflection of his preeminent surgical skills, he has hosted more than 700 spinal surgeons from around the globe to observe his surgeries in the past 15 years.

He received his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School and completed an internship and residency in orthopedic surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University School of Medicine. While at Washington University, he also completed fellowship training in pediatric and adult orthopedic spine surgery.

Dr. K. Daniel Riew

Dr. Riew is world-renowned for his work in cervical spine surgery. His practice focuses exclusively on operative treatment of the cervical spine, a rarity among spine surgeons. Each year, he performs 250–300 cervical spine operations, ranging from minimally invasive microsurgical outpatient procedures to the most complex “chin-on-chest” and “ear-on-shoulder” deformities. A doctor’s doctor, Dr. Riew has operated on more than 100 physicians, including several spine surgeons. He will serve as director of cervical spine surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Allen.

In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Riew has lectured internationally on cervical spine surgery, contributing to improvements in the treatment of spinal disorders around the world. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers and more than 70 chapters and other manuscripts. In addition, he has served as president of the Cervical Spine Research Society.

Dr. Riew received his M.D. from Case Western Reserve University Medical School and completed residencies in internal medicine at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center (now NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center) and in orthopedic surgery at George Washington University Medical Center. He also completed a fellowship in orthopedic spine surgery under the training of world-renowned cervical spine surgeon Dr. Henry Bohlman at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland.

Dr. Ronald A. Lehman, Jr.

Dr. Lehman specializes in cervical disc arthroplasty/replacement, myelopathy and radiculopathy, as well as pediatric and adult spinal deformities and minimally invasive applications surgery for spinal deformities. He also focuses on minimally invasive surgery of the cervical and lumbar spine, as well as spinal tumors and cancers of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. He will serve as director of degenerative and minimally invasive spine surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Allen.

Prior to joining the faculty at Washington University, Dr. Lehman served as a lieutenant colonel in the Army, where he received three Meritorious Service Medals, the “A” Proficiency Designator, and the Order of Military Medical Merit. He was the chief of the adult and pediatric spine service at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, as well as a consultant to the White House. Dr. Lehman is the recipient of several Department of Defense research grants totaling more than $10 million.

He received his M.D. from Jefferson Medical College and completed his residency at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He then completed fellowship training in adult and pediatric spine surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Lehman has published more than 120 peer-reviewed publications and currently serves as program chair of the Scoliosis Research Society and program co-chair of the Cervical Spine Research Society and Lumbar Spine Research Society.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, based in New York City, is one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive hospitals and a leading provider of inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine. With some 2,600 beds and more than 6,500 affiliated physicians and 20,000 employees, NewYork-Presbyterian had more than 2 million visits in 2013, including close to 15,000 infant deliveries and more than 310,000 emergency department visits. NewYork-Presbyterian comprises six campuses: NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/Westchester Division and NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital. The hospital is also closely affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area, according to U.S. News & World Report, and consistently named to the magazine’s Honor Roll of best hospitals in the nation. Affiliated with two world-renowned medical schools, Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, NewYork-Presbyterian is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. For more information, visit

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast. For more information, visit or

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