Why choose Dr. Steven Lee?
Dr. Steven Lee possesses a rare combination of exemplary orthopedic skills, extensive knowledge, ethical surgery indications, advancement of orthopedic medicine, and friendly demeanor that have helped to make him one of the most respected and influential orthopedic surgeons nationwide.
Dr. Steven Lee is a true surgeon down to the core. He is double fellowship trained in Hand/Upper Extremity and Sports Medicine. He became the Chief of Hand and Upper Extremity surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital at the age of 41 and became the Associate Director of the Nicholas Institute for Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma at the age of 36. He has garnered nearly every medical award multiple times that can be bestowed to a doctor including Castle Connolly's Top Doctor, New York Magazine's Best Doctor, US News and World Report Top Doctor, America's Top Orthopedists, and the Hall of Fame New York Super Doctors. However, the award he is most proud of is the Teacher/Mentor of the Year award that he has earned 7 times, an award given by the residents at Lenox Hill Hospital, chosen among over 100 orthopedic surgeons on staff at Lenox Hill Hospital. His constant striving for excellence is evidenced by the fact that he earned his 2nd degree black belt in Taekwondo at the age of 44, was a tennis club champion, maintains a single digit golf handicap, but most cherishes the fact that he has won the 2016 World Invitational Father Daughter Golf Championship as well as the 2018 World Invitational Father Son Golf Championships in Waterville, Ireland. Dr. Steven Lee's passion for orthopedic surgery is demonstrated by his research endeavors, has over 50 publications or presentations at national meetings and is invited to speak and instruct courses all over the country. He is a surgeon is the truest sense of the word.
Remarkable Surgical Skills - There is a misconception that because the training of surgeons is very rigorous, that as long as the surgeon is board certified, that surgeon must be competent. That literally couldn't be further from the truth! The fact is, it is often difficult for the lay person to know who is actually an exceptional surgeon. You might be surprised how many "big name" surgeons there are who have made a name for themselves by publishing numerous papers, but do not possess proper surgical skills. You might also be surprised how many surgeons are simply gifted speakers, and seem like nice, trustworthy people but also are not gifted surgically. Another hurdle for patients is finding an orthopedic surgeon who has ethical and conservative surgical indications. If an orthopedic issue can be treated just as well without surgery, Dr. Steven Lee will not hastily recommend surgery for his patients.
Many different skill sets factor into becoming a good orthopedic surgeon. Orthopedic surgery after all is as much a skill and art as it is a science. While it is very difficult to find a surgeon that possesses these many skill sets, patients need a surgeon who is intelligent, who is active and good with activities involving their hands, who went through a respected and preferably tough residency program, who then specialized in a fellowship, who can handle pressure and make quick decisions on the fly, someone who fell in love with their specialty and the concept of helping others, who continued to be tested and challenged throughout his career in order to keep up with the ever-changing medical environment, someone who strives for excellence in whatever they do, and maybe as a bonus, someone who was actually also a nice person.
Dr. Steven Lee is extremely proud to possess these attributes and we believe that is why is he one of the most respected and influential orthopedic surgeons nationwide.
Read what real patients are saying about Dr. Steven Lee here.
I want to avoid surgery. Should I be seeing an orthopedic surgeon?
Yes - the majority of orthopedic diagnoses in our practice are treated successfully without surgery! Dr. Steven Lee prides himself on holding surgery as a last resort and will only recommend surgery when properaly indicated. Dr. Steven Lee also utilizes many innovative techniques that help patients avoid the need for an operation such as PRP (Read more in "Cutting Edge Care" section of the website).
Does Dr. Steven Lee perform his own surgeries?
Yes - Dr. Steven Lee prides himself on performing his own surgeries and does so with diligent attention to detail. Patients often ask if doctors let others perform their surgery cases, especially those in training. While Dr. Lee does allow residents and fellows to observe his surgeries, they are not permitted to perform the actual surgery. This is Dr. Lee's own philosophy and is not a faculty or academic practice. Dr. Lee does not take any pleasure in having others perform surgery on his patients.
What factors affect my treatment outcome?
There are a multitude of factors that affect a patient’s treatment outcomes. As your doctor, I have the responsibility to offer you the best possible care options – but there are many other things that affect your treatment outcome which a doctor cannot control. Some of these factors are “patient-dependent” and some are more dependent on your diagnoses/injury.
A few factors that may affect your treatment outcome include:
The initial trauma
The severity of trauma
The length of time untreated
Length of immobilization
Adherence to therapy
Adherence to treatment recommendations
Your body’s own inherent healing process and level of scar formation
Previous trauma to the same area
Your personal medical history (example: diabetes, auto-immune disorders, smoking history, immune system complications)
How long should I expect to wait before my visit?
Dr. Steven Lee values his patient's time and strives to keep to his schedule. This unfortunately can prove to be a challenge because of the unpredictable nature of orthopedics. Dr. Steven Lee’s number one priority is to provide each patient the highest level of care by giving his undivided attention, answering all your questions, and thoroughly discussing your options for treatment. New patients and patients who were advised to have surgery often need more discussion time. While it is not possible to predict which patients require more time, Dr. Steven Lee still ensures all your questions and concerns are addressed. This may lead to a delay in the schedule and increased wait time. We also ask you to keep in mind that the same attention will be given to you during your time with Dr. Lee and we thank you for understanding that our wait times may vary. We do not want to sacrifice your quality of care to gain the much smaller benefit of remaining on schedule.
How long should I expect my visit to last?
Some orthopedic diagnoses are very common and have clear treatments - these tend to be quicker visits because there is less overall to discuss. Other diagnoses are very complex and require a lengthy discussion. If for whatever reason you have more questions or feel your visit was too quick, please contact us. We want to ensure all your questions are answered so that you feel comfortable and confident with your personal treatment plan.
Do I need an MRI?
MRI's are a great diagnostic tool that can provide us a lot of good information. If there is any reason an MRI would change your treatment plan or provide any benefit, Dr. Steven Lee will order the MRI. It is important to consider that there are other diagnostic tests (such as X-rays, Ultrasounds, CAT scans) that may be more appropriate for your diagnosis. That is why we require consultation with Dr. Steven Lee before ordering any diagnostic test in order to provide you with the best possible care.
Are too many x-rays dangerous for my body? How about an MRI? How about CT scans?
While x-rays do entail a small amount of radiation, the level is much smaller than you might expect and it is also highly targeted to the area in question. Natural background radiation (radiation we are all exposed to on Earth) accounts for an average of 3.1 mSv/yr with variations depending on where you live. For comparison, a standard Chest X-ray is 0.1 mSv, so it is very low compared to the radiation you are getting normally. However, in general we would never recommend an X-ray unless we thought it was necessary. It is important to realize that in a properly performed individual exam, the potential health benefits almost always outweigh the potential risks of radiation exposure. Simply put, patients should not hesitate having a study if it is medically indicated. Please let the X-ray technician know if you are pregnant, and use a lead shield whenever possible.
MRI's use magnets to produce an image. There is no radiation whatsoever used in an MRI. In general they are considered very safe. However, if there is metal inside you for whatever reason (previous orthopedic surgery, metal forign body, metal implants), including pacemakers, there may be contraindications for its use for you, so please let your physician and radiologic technician know.
CAT Scans however do require radiation at a much higher rate than an X-ray does. The dose for a standard Chest CT is 7 mSv, so just over double the amount of radiation compared to background radiation that you normally get in a year. Again, CAT scans are only ordered when they are considered to be necessary, or at least the benefit of which would far outweigh any risk.
Ultrasound utilizes sound waves to produce an image and does not use any radiation. This is also considered safe under most conditions.
What is the role of Physician Assistants (PA)?
Physician Assistants are highly trained medical professionals who fill a critical role in Dr. Lee’s team. The PA’s that work with Dr. Steven Lee are nationally certified and have been awarded Master Degrees in Medical Science. They work very closely with Dr. Lee to provide patients high-quality orthopedic care. Under the direction of Dr. Lee, Physician Assistants are involved in many aspects of patient care including the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of orthopedic problems, interpretation of laboratory tests and imaging studies, patient education, and assisting in surgery.
You may choose to schedule your appointment with a Physician Assistant directly. The PA’s are in constant communication with Dr. Steven Lee and are well versed in diagnosing, treating, and educating patients about orthopedic diagnoses. PA’s are able to administer treatments, order diagnostic tests, refer patients to specialists, and prescribe medication when needed.
Do I need medical clearance for surgery?
Medical clearance is a necessary component of your surgery if you are either over the age of 50 yrs old or have medical conditions that might be of concern. Learn more in Surgical Scheduling page.
Does it matter where I have my surgery and who the rest of my operative staff are, especially the anesthesiologist?
Having your surgery at a quality institution is extremely important. The quality of your Nurse, Anesthesiologist, and Surgical Team has the potential to greatly affect your surgical experience. Please read more about the outstanding and highly accredited surgical locations that Dr. Steven Lee is associated with here.
What factors can make my incision look better?
Some patients ask whether or not it would be beneficial to have a plastic surgeon close their incision. You are definitely entitled to do that if you like. However, believe it or not, we utilize the exact same techniques to close your incisions as the plastic surgeons do.
There are multiple reasons why an incision can heal nicer than others. Some factors that contribute include where the incision is, the body's inherent healing and scar formation capacity, and other factors not necessarily under your control or the surgeon's control. For example, those incisions that cross the joint or are closer to the joint tend to heal less well because the skin is stretched back and forth during the healing process. Some patients produce more scar tissue that others, something that is not in your control and is probably genetically determined. Those that produce more scar tissue tend to have wider and less attractive scars. Some patients even produce excessive scar tissue causing the scar to not only be wider, but also be raised. This is called a Keloid. While this is also more or less genetically determined, patients of Asian and African descent, those with a history of Dupuytren's Disease, and those with a previous history of Keloids are more prone to getting Keloids. Also, some patients have more mobile skin than others, and these patients tend to have better looking incisions because there is less tension on the incision.
Application of Vitamin E oil and application of silicon patches may help with scar modulation. Please ask Dr. Steven Lee if these treatments are right for you.
What insurances does Dr. Lee accept?
Dr. Lee is In-Network with the following insurances:
Aetna/ Aetna Medicare
BCBS & Empire BCBS/ MediBlue
UHC NSLIJ (Buy Up & Value plan)
Where can I read about real patient experiences with your office?
Please visit our Testimonial page here.