• Getting To The Heart o...
    In this issue of Healthy Living, the focus is on Eisenhower’s Cardiovascular Center of Excellence — a fitting topic to start the New Year as many of us make resolutions to improve our fitness. The... click for more
  • Majid Torabi, MD
    In the world of yoga and deep breathing, there is a common saying: a healthy mind has an easy breath. If that is true, the patients of Majid Torabi, MD have him to thank. Board Certified in... click for more
  • White House Briefing O...
    In 2012, Eisenhower Cardiologist Charlie Shaeffer, Jr, MD met with senior White House officials as part of a discussion with community leaders who are actively involved in the prevention, treatment... click for more
  • Eisenhower Medical Cen...
    Eisenhower Medical Center has again received full accreditation as a chest pain center from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC). Originally accredited in 2006 and then in 2009,... click for more
  • Luke Magnotto, MD
    The similarities between Luke Magnotto, MD, Board Certified in Emergency Medicine, and his great-greatgreat… grandfather Leonardo Di Capua, who lived at the end of the Renaissance period (b. 1617 in... click for more
  • It’s Berry Good For Yo...
    One of the best weapons in fighting cancer could be your fork.
    “Whether you want to prevent cancer or are currently fighting it, it’s important to provide your body with the proper fuel,” says Carolyn Katzin, MSPH, CNS, MNT, a nutritionist who works with Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center. “My goal here is to help people make small changes that can have a profound effect on overall health.”

    If you’ve already begun treatment for cancer, Katzin recommends focusing on two critical areas of your diet. “Getting enough protein is incredibly important,” she says. “For most people, that means adding one more serving per day. Also, sufficient hydration is essential, and in some cases, that means electrolytes as well.” click for more

  • Five Things You Can Do...
    1. Plan a Homemade Pizza Party
    Invite some friends and ask everyone to bring a favorite topping and drink to share. Give awards for most creative and best tasting pizzas.

    2. Stretch Your Face
    Prop yourself in front of a mirror and open your mouth wide, raise your eyebrows, wink, and wiggle your nose and ears, if you can. Laughing is permitted and highly encouraged.

    3. Walk Your Neighborhood
    As Katherine Hepburn once stated, “Exercise each day, in all kinds of weather.” Early mornings are quite pleasant even in the hottest months. click for more

  • What’s In A Label?
    Have you ever considered the notion that the fewer the ingredients, the less likely you are to ingest a long list of additives? Although it may seem daunting to wend your way through the supermarket reading food labels, knowing exactly what you’re eating is an important step to good health.

    Salt
    The American Heart Association® and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention™ (CDC) list the recommended adequate amount of daily sodium as 1,500 milligrams or less. click for more

  • Celebrity Golf Invitat...
    The 25th annual Frank Sinatra Celebrity Invitational, benefiting the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center for abused children, tees off February 21-23, 2013. Eagle Falls Golf Course and Fantasy Springs... click for more
  • Discover Art!
    The posh boutiques, upscale restaurants and glitzy galleries of El Paseo in Palm Desert couldn’t have asked for a better new neighbor. The Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert, located at the... click for more
  • The Picture of Health
    Tom and Michael Rice, big dude and little dude, about to get totally tubular in a gnarly surf sesh at Seaside, dude. TRANSLATION:Tom and Michael Rice, father and son, enjoy an early November surf... click for more

Spine Surgery Success

Active Patient Regains Her Life

Pre- and post-surgery scans of Kristen Martinez’s neck. Dr. Etebar removed an intervertebral disc to access the compressed neural structures and relieved the pressure by removing the herniated disc that was causing the compression. He then placed a bone graft between the adjacent vertebrae. The final step was to insert metal plates for extra support and stability to help ensure proper fusion.
Pre- and post-surgery scans of Kristen Martinez’s neck. Dr. Etebar removed an intervertebral disc to access the compressed neural structures and relieved the pressure by removing the herniated disc that was causing the compression. He then placed a bone graft between the adjacent vertebrae. The final step was to insert metal plates for extra support and stability to help ensure proper fusion.
Kristen Martinez and her husband have a blended family that includes five active children ages 11 and younger. The successful local business owner has played sports her entire life, including collegiate volleyball.

Three years ago, Martinez hurt her neck while playing “horse” with one of her sons. She tried to put the injury out of her mind and go on with her busy life despite the progressively worsening pain, weakness and numbness in her arms and hands. That changed, however, when Martinez and her sister, also a former college volleyball player, challenged each other to a game of beach volleyball during a family vacation in San Diego last August. Before she knew it, Martinez had collapsed on the sand in agony.

An MRI at Eisenhower Medical Center revealed a large herniated disc in Martinez’s neck that was compressing and inflaming a nerve root, causing a condition medically defined as cervical radiculopathy — commonly called a pinched nerve.

Diligent research and multiple referrals led Martinez to Shahin Etebar, MD, a Board Certified Neurosurgeon specializing in the correction of spinal deformity and adult degenerative scoliosis; spinal reconstruction due to failed surgery, cancer, and trauma; diagnosis and treatment of brain disorders and tumors and minimally invasive spinal surgery. Complex spine cases represent approximately 95 percent of Dr. Etebar’s work.

After ruling out more conservative modalities such as medication, a cervical collar or pillow, physical therapy or epidural steroid injections, Dr. Etebar determined the most effective treatment option for Martinez would be an anterior cervical discectomy with fusion, a surgical procedure to relieve nerve root compression that is one of the most common and successful types of spine surgery.

Martinez’s surgery was scheduled for September 2012. The procedure involved making a small incision near the front of her neck. Dr. Etebar then removed her intervertebral disc to access the compressed neural structures and relieved the pressure by removing the herniated disc that was causing the compression. He then placed a bone graft between the adjacent vertebrae. The final step was to insert metal plates for extra support and stability to help ensure proper fusion.

“From the beginning, Dr. Etebar and his team were great — very professional, caring, attentive and detail-oriented,” Martinez raves. “He took the time to explain everything to my family and me and to address all of our questions and concerns. After the surgery, Dr. Etebar visited me every day in the hospital.”

“The surgery was a total success,” continues Martinez. “The day after surgery, the pain was gone and the feeling was already returning. I’m especially pleased about how minimal the scar on my neck is.”

By Thanksgiving, Martinez reported feeling great and was functioning at 95 percent of her normal activity.

“Our team includes fellowship-trained neurosurgeons working in collaboration with a team of highly trained professionals — all dedicated to providing the desert community with the highest quality of spine care, using the latest technology and the least invasive techniques,” explains Dr. Etebar, who is also President of Eisenhower’s Medical Staff.