Dr. Maurice Goins Performs First-of-its-Kind Spinal Surgery in Georgia

Dr. Maurice Goins, a spine surgeon at Resurgens Orthopaedics, recently performed the first-of-its-kind spinal surgery with a new artificial disc in Georgia. The patient, Rashad Hodge, a former U.S. Army officer, is doing extremely well. 

The surgery involved the Mobi-C Cervical Disc Prosthesis, a newly FDA-approved device for cervical artificial disc replacement. 

Hodge, a West Point Military Academy graduate and former U.S. Army officer, is a very active and health conscious individual and wanted to maintain his usual high level of physical fitness after surgery. Dr. Goins felt he was the perfect candidate for the Mobi-C. 

The disc is notable because it preserves the patient's mobility. Before this device received FDA approval, patients in the U.S. had to get a cervical fusion or another form of cervical disc replacement. The fusion limits motion and can place more stress on adjacent discs, which can potentially lead to them wearing down faster and degenerating. The replacement requires significant bone removal and cutting of keels for implants, which limits flexibility for surgical diversity. 

The Mobi-C has no invasive keels or screws and doesn't require any bone cutting, and its design facilitates independent-coupled motion to mimic natural spine motion. 

Dr. Goins presented the option to Hodge, and he jumped at the chance. Being an active individual, Hodge also liked the idea of reduced downtime after surgery. 

“If I had to do this over again, I would choose Dr. Goins, Resurgens, and the artificial disc replacement without hesitation,” Hodge said. “The prospect of getting back on my feet and to my usual activities quickly was the best part. Not to mention the entire Resurgens staff was phenomenal.” 

Approximately two years ago while running, Hodge tripped and ran head first into another individual, injured his neck, and sustained a transient quadriplegia injury in which he developed complete numbness and loss of motor strength and sensation over his entire body. Fortunately, this was only temporary and his symptoms completely resolved; however, he was left with residual nerve pain that continued to radiate down his arms. 

"The entire Resurgens staff was phenomenal.”

When Hodge came to Dr. Goins, he presented with a chief complaint of neck pain with radiation into his right upper extremity, numbness, tingling, and paresthesias, and it had progressively worsened over the past year. 

His history and clinical examination, including advanced imaging with MRI, revealed he indeed had neural compression secondary to a herniated disc. He was diagnosed with cervical radiculopathy with a pinched nerve due to a disc herniation in his neck. 

Initial treatments involved traction, NSAIDS, analgesics, and activity modifications to a sedentary lifestyle. Unfortunately, despite these non-surgical treatments, the symptoms continued to worsen and affected his ability to concentrate and function. He also slept in an upright position for months due to his pain, as lying flat would cause burning and painful electrical sensations to shoot into his hand that would wake him. 

Since his symptoms were unresponsive to non-operative treatments, his condition warranted surgery to alleviate his pain. The most optimal way to alleviate pressure on the nerve was to remove the disc. 

After the surgery, Hodge was allowed to be free of an immobilization collar (unlike fusion therapy) and was only placed in a soft collar for a few days to allow his swelling to resolve and soft tissue to heal. After three days his collar was discontinued, his nerve pain resolved, and he had resumed activity such as walking on a treadmill and elliptical trainer, and driving. He also returned to work. And, though he didn’t want Dr. Goins to know, he was back in the gym two weeks after surgery! 

Needless to say, Hodge is a big fan. “I think this should replace fusion altogether,” he said. 

Additionally, Hodge now has the upper hand in a bit of sibling rivalry. His twin brother had the same condition and underwent cervical spinal fusion two years ago. His brother noted resolution of his symptoms following surgery but experienced lack of motion and required several months before his pain resolved to allow him to return to physical sporting activity. No doubt Hodge is reminding his brother how much better and quicker his recovery was!

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