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El Camino Hospital Surgeon Performs Two-Level Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery to Regain Athlete’s Functionality

February 15, 2017 - Nicole Haratani leads a busy life as an executive for a Silicon Valley organization, a wife and mother of two teenage children. Her job requires her to travel all over the world, including Europe, South America and Australia. The 52-year old is also an athlete who has always been in great shape. Four years ago, she began experiencing lower back and shoulder pain, and later, neck pain with numbness and weakness in her arm. Over time, she could barely manage to hold a cup. Traditional spinal fusion therapy would have limited her range of motion and may have ended her athletic endeavors and her ability to keep such a rigorous travel schedule for work. Just a few weeks after surgery, Nicole was back to biking and swimming and expects to be running again soon.
Nicole’s MRI revealed two ruptured and compressed discs in her spine. She sought advice from El Camino Hospital orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Coe, about alternatives to cortisone shots and traditional surgical approaches. Dr. Coe presented the Mobi-C® Cervical Disc (Mobi-C) as an alternative to spine fusion surgery and indicated that Nicole was a suitable candidate; though two-level cervical disc replacements are not commonplace.
“We are able to achieve an exceedingly rapid recovery and a very high positive impact with the Mobi-C cervical disc replacement procedure. Patients benefit not only from the shorter recovery time but also because of preserved range of motion as compared to traditional cervical fusion surgery.  Typically, patients can return to normal activities, exercise and sports within one to two months after the Mobi-C procedure,” explains Dr. Coe. “Additionally, there is a lower incidence of re-operations with this device as well as improved overall success rates, particularly with two-level procedures, as compared with spinal fusion surgery.”
The Mobi-C is designed for cervical disc replacement to restore segmental motion and disc height. Mobi-C is the first cervical disc prosthesis FDA approved for both one and two-level indications. Just four weeks after surgery, Nicole is fully active and back at the gym exercising regularly. She is 90% pain-free and even playing tennis once again.

“I highly recommend this surgery to others who are feeling neck and shoulder pain. If you want to get back to a better quality of life, I encourage you to look into this to see if you are a good candidate,” said Nicole Haratani, the first patient at El Camino Hospital to receive a two-level artificial disc. “My scar isn’t visible, there were no complications and I was able to drive within just a couple of weeks following my surgery. I had the utmost confidence in Dr. Coe and though I am a nurse by training, he made sure I understood the procedure and what to expect.”

“Our priority is helping patients achieve a higher quality of life and allowing them to continue to enjoy doing the things they love. That gives me great satisfaction. El Camino Hospital is always searching for new and innovative ways to address health issues that diminish or negatively alters someone life. Using this surgical approach was the right choice in alleviating this patient’s pain and restoring functionality” said Dr. Coe.