Spine Surgeon NYC | Todd Albert Orthopaedic Surgery is rated 5 out of 5.0 based on 18 ratings.

Great surgeon and did a great job with me. I had several opinions all by top providers and his assessment was the most clear, and plan felt the most appropriate for my specific situation. Accessible pre and post op. Staff is superb. Surgery went smoothly. Full recovery. I’m a surgeon myself.

Todd H.


My dissertation director thought I was full of crap when I told her I could only sit and write for 15 minutes at a time. It was better than “my dog ate the chapter,” but her sense of humor had disappeared, and I knew I was on her last nerve. In fact, my neck was pinching my last nerve (or nerves), especially the ones that ran down my arms and neck. After 15 minutes of looking down at the keyboard to type (I heard that. Yes, my typing is so bad I have to look at the keyboard) my neck and arms would begin to hurt, and my little fingers started to get numb. The pain got worse so slowly that I didn’t realize how bad it was. I’d make little, incremental adjustments now and then to deal with the pain. I’d had 2 three disc fusions, and while they eased the pain in my upper arms a little, I still had pain shoot down the back of my arms and my little fingers were still numb. But somehow, working in fits and starts, I finished the dissertation.

The day I defended it, the pain was so bad I couldn’t look down, so I fumbled with the many tubes of stuff at the bottom of my bag. I grabbed what I thought was my toothpaste and started to scrub my teeth hoping they would be perfectly white for my dissertation defense. For some reason, the toothpaste tasted oily, but I continued to scrub, keeping my neck perfectly level. I brought a small glass of water up to my mouth and rinsed out my mouth, spitting as close to the sink as possible. That was when I noticed my mouth and tongue were going numb. At first I thought it was nerves, but it continued to get worse until I had tried to speak with a dead tongue. Without looking down, I fumbled around and found the tube. It was Monistat. My dissertation defense was going to be, well, different to say the least. My answers sounded more like “Ma dithertathun ih abouth Emothun and Wetheric,” (Emotion and Rhetoric).

Yep, that’s when I knew it was time to fix whatever it was that caused so much pain I couldn’t bend my neck. By this point, not only could I not turn my head, I had a bolt of lightning that shot down into my shoulder when I bent my head to rinse my hair. My solution was to adjust the showerhead. The bolt of pain was impressive and a little alarming, but the pain level had crept up slowly over time, so I didn’t recognize how severe it was until I couldn’t write. I had called a student into my office to rip his paper apart, and when I began to write a comment, my hand slid across the page. I tried again, and my hand slid again. The student and I looked at each other in shock. I couldn’t write. The doctor told me this situation required a higher 3-disc fusion of C-3, 4 and 5. I crossed my fingers that this was the solution.

After surgery, the pain in my arms lessened, but my little fingers still got numb. At least I could write again. I wore the soft collar for 6 weeks like a good girl. Then I started to hear a little crunching sound when I turned my head. The bolt of lighting returned, bit it wasn’t nearly as bad. Clearly this second fusion was not fusing. This time I had to admit that in addition to the disc degeneration that initially caused my symptoms, the new crunching sound meant the vertebrae in my neck were starting to degenerate as well. Now, I was officially scared. Two different surgeons had tried to do everything they could, and my neck was still falling apart and felt like it was about to cut into my spinal cord.

That’s when I made an appointment with Dr. Todd Albert, one of the top ten cervical surgeons in the world (or at least he thinks he is— just kidding, he really is). He looked at my x-rays for a long time. Then he said, “Can you see that these two vertebrae have fused, and these two haven’t?” Annoyed that he thought I couldn’t see a crumbling vertebrae, I replied, “Well, yeah. I’m not blind.” I’m sure he’s had worse patients than me (I heard that), but I wanted to be to be sure he remembered me. I shouldn’t have worried. The man remembers everything.

Anywayyyy, he said, “I can fix this, Toni, but I’ll have to go in from the back.” At that point I made some rude comment about not caring which orifice he wanted to go through. That got a chuckle and a smile, but he never looked away from the x-rays. Then he said, “At least your spinal cord is small.” Well, that ticked me off. “Are you saying I don’t have the ‘backbone’ Texas women need to survive the redneck idiots down there?” He turned around and said, “What?” I was sure he’d only heard part of what I said, so I abbreviated the question, “Is that what you think?” He had a confused look on his face (and Albert is rarely confused). So I let him off the hook and said “a small spinal cord?” He smiled and said, “that’s a good thing, Toni, because we’ll need to fuse C 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and T1.” Say Whaaaaaat? Regardless of my trepidation, I told him to do it as soon as he could.

And he did. He fused them all with bars and screws. Unbelievable. The next morning, through my morphine haze, I noticed that there was a man standing at the foot of my bed. He was wearing the most beautiful black suit I’d ever seen. “Damn. Is that you, Doc?” He said, “How are you doing?” I croaked out “Well I’m in excruciating pain, and I’m REALLY tired of buzzers going off all the time.” He said, “They’re probably trying to keep you alive.” Oh crap. That did it. No more complaining. Then he told me I’d get out the next day. I looked at him incredulously. “I’m what?” “You’re going home tomorrow.” And since ‘he’s the man,’ I swallowed hard and nodded, “Uh, Okay.”

After a few days of recouping, I thought I’d jump up (something they don’t recommend) and go to the kitchen. I got about ten feet and passed out. Ahhhh, now I know why they told me not to jump up. When you have low blood pressure and pain meds in you, getting up fast can be disastrous. But I’m a slow learner. I repeated the same mistake over and over until waking up on the floor got really old. Once I accepted the recovery protocols, things went swimmingly. I had a few twinges during recovery, but I could write immediately, and the arm pain and the ‘bolt of lightning’ pain completely disappeared. That’s right, my symptoms were gone. I could rinse my hair and my fingers weren’t numb. THAT made me very happy.

A year later all the vertebrae had fused, and for the first time in 15-20 years, I HAVE NO SYMPTOMS. No pain, zero, zilch, nada, none. And much to my student’s chagrin, I can return to writing sarcastic comments on their papers. God is good.


THANK YOU DOCTOR ALBERT Dear Dr. Albert & Staff,

There are not enough words to express how grateful I am to you and your wonderful staff. You answered all of my questions without making me feel foolish, and made me feel safe and comfortable with your warm smile, positive attitude, and thoroughness! Wishing you a happy & healthy new year!! Shanah Tovah


MY ANTERIOR CERVICAL DISCECTOMY AND FUSION Dear Dr. Albert, It’s been a pleasure seeing you again. I am now back in Turkey and wanted to send you a photo of myself playing soccer. These are the two I could find myself alone in a picture during the game and with the cup we won.

I wanted to thank you one more time for what you did with my neck. I am feeling that I am born again!

See you next year and have a great holiday season!

Best always,

Selin B.

Selin B.

THANK YOU DR. ALBERT Just wanted to thank Dr. Albert and his team. It’s 3 months and 3 days since my ACDF surgery and I’m out on the slopes with my son! You are the best



My life was making a right-hand turn to facing a high probability of living life in a wheelchair. My spine was failing and the clock was ticking. After 17 years of neck pain and limited range of motion I was referred to Dr. Todd J. Albert and my diagnosis was finally made: severe cervical myelopathy, myelomacia at C4, loss of cervical lordosis, severe spondylosis, C3- C4, C4-C5 and C5-C6, congenital stenosis, snake eye appearance of the spinal cord, spinal compression at C3-C4, C4-C5 and C5-C6, severe osteoporosis, no motion volitionally lateral bending or rotation, positive bilateral Hoffmans, and some kyphosis in the mid-cervical spine. On my initial consultation with Dr. Albert, he instilled trust, confidence and respect as his goals of care were well thought out. My case was very serious, certainly not without complications and risk. Hope and spirit were rekindled by Dr. Albert in his positive belief he could help me.

Dr. Albert performed the following surgery: anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, C3- C6 with instrumentation, posterior cervical laminectomy, C3-C6 and fusion with instrumentation and bone graft.

My surgery was a medical miracle and testament to Jean de la Bruyere’s “Out of difficulties grow miracles.”

One could describe Dr. Todd J. Albert as a gentle giant, yet a doctor and a surgeon who is very proficient and accomplished in his work. Confident with sound judgment and compassionate about his work, one could say Dr. Albert is a genius, an Amazing doctor, nothing but perfection, a doctor with honor and integrity who takes much pride in his work. I continue to think of Dr. Todd J. Albert as a Superman in my life who took over for the rescue when I was drowning with spine problems with no hope and no answers, restoring my hope and giving me answers to all aspects of my spine condition.

Dr. Todd J. Albert and Natisha Ross, PA-C for Dr. Albert are true lifesavers for a spine patient and pillars of hope. I am blessed and Dr. Albert and Natisha are blessings in my life. Miracles do happen, as one must never lose hope. I feel like a walking miracle.

On the Road Again… Life is Good… Embrace the Journey!

Nancy J. Levine

Dr. Albert is without a doubt, the most gifted, competent and skilled spinal surgeon a patient could ask for. He is truly warm, compassionate, responsive to the needs of his patients and very caring. Dr. Albert performed a Lumbar Laminectomy a few months ago, and I am happy that I selected him to perform the procedure. Clearly, I have total confidence and trust in Dr. Albert, and he is a credit to the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Thank you Dr. Albert!

Stuart R. Nadelson

MY SPINE FUSION TREATMENT Yesterday, I hit golf balls for the first time in six months – months sooner than I had ever hoped.

On May 13, I underwent spinal decompression and fusion surgery, from L4 to S1. I had been in pain for more than 10 years and had tried everything – core exercises, steroid injections, chiropractic corrections, acupuncture – to avoid surgery. By the beginning of this year, I couldn’t walk more than a half-mile without seizing up in pain and I could no longer swing a golf club. In good health and weighing no more than I did in high school, I had decided it was the right time to find a surgeon. I spoke with six and may have been more confused at the end of those six consultations than I was at the outset. My seventh and, as it turned out, final consult was with Dr. Todd Albert, the chief surgeon at HSS. I was referred to him by Dr. Robert Hotchkiss, an HSS colleague of Dr. Albert’s, in whose care my daughter had been. I recall having been impressed with the Hospital’s technology and commitment to communication – between doctor and patient and between HSS colleagues – during her care. I decided that I wanted the same for myself and agreed to undergo complex spine surgery in my first meeting with Dr. Albert. His expertise and experience were clear, and his own skill at communicating the plusses and minuses of this intricate surgery left little doubt in my mind that I had made the right choice of surgeon and hospital.

Spinal decompression and fusion surgery is no small commitment. It’s a long operation with a long recovery and rehabilitation. I was very anxious about the pain, the recovery from anesthesia, the hospital stay and rehab. More than anything else, I was reassured by the professionalism of HSS staff, HSS’s state-of-the-art facilities and the ability of everyone whom I encountered to articulate their respective roles in the procedure I was about to undergo. HSS people took great pains to answer my many questions and showed respect for my need to know as much about spinal fusion and decompression as I could hope to understand. They helped me prepare my body and my head for surgery and the challenges that lay ahead.

I was the first surgical case on May 13, which meant our day in the hospital began before 6am. HSS has sort of a low-key buzz to it – part energy, part hum of a well-oiled machine – and I heard it everywhere I went in the hospital that morning, from surgical reception, to the room in which I was prepped for surgery, to the long hallway that winds around the operating rooms to the surgical suite itself. I focused on that buzz and did my best to hum along with it until I went under general anesthetic.

The surgery went well – I am told – but not without complication. Todd Albert found that the cause of the spondilolesthesis (slipped disc) between L4 and S1 was a spina bifida, an unusual gap between spine and lumbar that makes for unstable spines, like mine. He took the time necessary (nearly 4 hours in surgery) to understand the condition and deftly to work around it. I left surgery with an “erector set” in my back: a rod-and-screw-array that connects the diseased vertebrae and, today, frames a newly fused area of my spine. Clearly, I had counted on Todd’s experience and expertise and, when I needed them, both were present in abundance.

It’s certainly easy to focus a story like this on the surgeon but I feel like I owe my surgical success every bit as much to the other members of the HSS team:

Dr. Ronald MacKenzie was the internist assigned to my case. He brought a depth of understanding about the surgery I was to undergo to my pre-operative care, especially helping me to prepare a sensitive bowel for the rigors of all the anesthetic and medicines I would take.

Dr. Steve Harris was the anesthesiologist I met the morning of the surgery. I was quite nervous about the general and its after-effects. He told me what steps he would take to ward off nausea and how he would administer the drugs that would “paralyze” me while I was a surgical subject. Moreover, Steve has a great sense of humor, which I appreciated that morning.

The nurses too-many-to-name who cared for me for five days and nights after surgery and did so with professionalism and no small amount of love. No request was too big nor pain too small. They were a huge part of my story.

Finally, Todd Albert referred me to a terrific chiropractor, Doug Sechendorf, who has been managing my rehab. He and his colleagues have done much to speed my recovery. On Friday, Doug spoke with John Kennedy, the golf pro with whom I will work to reconstruct my swing. They talked about my range of motion and the best ways to protect my spine above and below the fusion. That’s full-service.

Saturday was the big day, Under John’s watchful eye, I hit about three-dozen golf balls, some pretty badly; it’s going to be a long road back. Truth be told, I was so excited that I had trouble concentrating.

Just three months after a complex spine operation, I am pain-free, back in the game of golf and back in the game of life.



My name is Taya Derun; I’m 28 and was suffering for the past 13 years (would be exactly 14 this July 4th) following a severe automobile accident. I had daily debilitating axial neck pain with radiculopathy since the day following the accident. The only thing that somewhat alleviated it was chiropractic adjustment, which lasted until I awoke the following morning. On the average, the pain was an 8-10. MRIs & CT scans showed a severe herniation between C5/C6 + an osteophyte. I had a semi pain-free day once every 1-2 months. In order to live a normal life in terms of manageable pain, I would have needed to be adjusted by a chiropractor every morning. The pain decreased my quality of life and capabilities tremendously, especially after sitting, reading, running (or at least attempting to), and sleeping. I was scheduled for ACDF surgery twice before, but something didn’t feel quite right and I didn’t go through with them. To say that I’m thrilled to have met with and been operated on by Dr. Albert (artificial disc replacement) is a tremendous understatement. If waiting nearly 14 years in miserable chronic pain was what I needed in order to be healed by the most talented surgeon I could ever imagine, then it was all well worth it. Grateful doesn’t even begin to describe what I feel. Thank you Dr. Albert and HSS for giving me a second chance at a quality-filled life where I can now focus on treating patients and not being the patient.

Taya Derun

He is an excellent surgeon and a kind, compassionate man. I had a previous fusion (by another surgeon) and needed another level fused after 7 years. He determined the best way to deal with this and did a great job. His staff is also great to deal with.

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