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Newport Resident 'Feels Like a New Person' After Hoag Spinal Procedure

Edna Zitko is the first Hoag Hospital patient to undergo a newly approved procedure which she says has resulted in a drastic decrease in neck pain and numbness.

A SECURE-C Cervical Artificial Disc inserted into Edna Zitko. (Photo courtesy Hoag Hospital)
A SECURE-C Cervical Artificial Disc inserted into Edna Zitko. (Photo courtesy Hoag Hospital)

Newport Beach resident Edna Zitko suffered from neck pain and numbness for several years, but a new procedure at Hoag Hospital has left her feeling like "a new person."

Zitko, 44, was the first Hoag patient to undergo a newly approved alternative to cervical spinal fusion. Zitko said she dealt with severe chronic neck pain and debilitating upper extremity numbness for many years because she was fearful of surgery. The new SECURE-C Cervical Artificial Disc procedure was designed to help patients retain a range of motion similar to that of the natural cervical spine.

“My pain and discomfort were horrible for years, but I absolutely dreaded the prospect of spinal fusion surgery,” Zitko, who underwent surgery on Aug. 6, said. “I had pretty much given up hope that I’d ever be better."

SECURE-C gives patients the chance to avoid cervical spinal fusion surgery, which Hoag officials said often leaves patients with significantly reduced motion and a longer recovery period.

Zitko, who was up and walking within hours after the surgery, said the results of the procedure have been "remarkable."

“I literally feel like a new person,” Zitko said.

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian is the first hospital in Orange County to offer Secure-C. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on Sept. 28, 2012.

“Providing our patients with the finest care guides everything we do,"  Dr. Burak M. Ozgur, the neurosurgeon who operated on Zitko and chief of service for the Neurosurgical Spine Program at Hoag, said in a released statement. "We’re always excited to offer cutting-edge treatments and procedures that speed up their recovery and improve their long-term well-being,”

For more information about the procedure, visit hoag.org or call 949-764-6066.

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