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Irvine Spine Center

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Dr. Nitan (Nitin) Bhatia Helps Huntington Beach Race Car Driver Get Back to His Winning Ways

Dr. Nitin (Nitan) Bhatia helped Orange County NASCAR driver Kyle Kelley recover from his potentially paralyzing spinal fracture. Using advanced spinal surgery techniques not available elsewhere, Dr. Bhatia helped fix the fractures and get Mr. Kelley back to racing. Kelley has gone on to win multiple races and has recently started on the NASCAR circuit.

Huntington Beach, CA, October 09, 2009 --( Kyle Kelley returns to professional auto racing this weekend in the NASCAR Camping World West Series Bennett Lane Winery 200 at Infineon Raceway in his #7 Team Kelley UPR Dodge Charger after rebounding from a potential paralyzing spinal cord injury April of last year during a freak low speed off road vehicle incident.

Once written off by doctors who said he’d never walk again, Kelley rallied against the odds. He bounced back with remarkable recovery after spinal cord experts secured his spine with two titanium rods, eight screws and other miscellaneous hardware.

After laying on his back in the hospital for two weeks recovering from surgery, his therapy sessions began. They were far from routine though. Frustration set in quick for Kelley. “They didn’t get it,” exclaimed Kyle Kelley. “They were putting ice on my back and that made my situation even worse. They didn’t understand what I was dealing with. At least that’s what I thought at the time. I was so frustrated I quit therapy. I went home and stayed on my back for two more weeks. From there I did my own therapy program and it worked.”

Kelley’s recovery was remarkably quick. Within a few months he was anxious to get back behind the wheel. Then in November of last year, just seven months after his accident, he made it happen by climbing in the cockpit racing at Buttonwillow Raceway Park. In January, 2008, Kelley was back on top when he collected a National GT1 win at California Speedway. “What a great victory that was,” continued Kelley. “Getting back on top so soon is a testimony to my doctor. I was lucky to have Dr. Bhatia available when I needed to straighten out my situation. His trick surgical procedures no doubt speeded up my recovery. I’m sure of that.”

Dr. Nitan (Nitin) N. Bhatia was the key factor to Kelley’s amazing recovery. Dr. Bhatia's extensive training in state of the art techniques including minimally invasive surgery, endoscopic and microscopic discectomy, percutaneous fusions, x-stop lumbar stenosis treatment, bone morphogenetic protein, and kyphoplasty help to cure his patients' problems with minimal recovery time and less discomfort than other methods giving Kelley the best chance possible to return to auto racing sooner than later.

Dr. Bhatia has been featured as a treating surgeon in the television show "Guardian Angels, MD" seen nationwide on The Learning Channel as well as programs on PBS. He has expertise in all areas of spinal pathology including spinal stenosis, disc herniations, spine trauma, scoliosis, complex cervical and lumbar reconstruction, and failed back syndrome. Dr. Bhatia has completed multiple spine surgery fellowships and has trained in both orthopedic and neurosurgical techniques.

Patients should discuss their options with Dr. Bhatia to determine the extent of their spinal problems and whether surgery is a viable option for their treatment. Please call 714-456-7012 or visit for more information.

Dr. Bhatia, a Board Certified and Fellowship Trained spinal surgeon, serves as Director of the Spine Center and Chief of the Orthopaedic Spinal Surgery service at the University of California, Irvine.

For all of our patients, a multi-disciplinary non-surgical approach is used. This approach allows the majority of our patients to improve without surgical intervention. When surgery is necessary, Dr. Bhatia's extensive training in state of the art techniques including minimally invasive surgery, endoscopic discectomy, percutaneous fusions, X-Stop lumbar stenosis treatment, XLIF, Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP), and kyphoplasty help to cure his patients' problems with minimal recovery time and less discomfort than other methods. Dr. Bhatia is considered a world-reknowned expert in various spinal disorders including disc herniations, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, kyphosis, degenerative disc disease (DDD), facet degeneration, spinal cord injury, spinal fractures including compression fractures, radiculopathy, myelopathy, neck pain, and back pain.

The UC Irvine Spine Center provides care for Orange County and the surrounging communities including Irvine, Newport Beach, Corona del Mar, Laguna Nigel, Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Santa Ana, Fullerton, Westminster, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Long Beach, Anaheim, Brea, Mission Viejo, Temecula, Fallbrook, Hemet, Los Angeles, and Riverside. Patients from outside these communities are welcome at the UCI Spine Center as well. International patients are encouraged to contact us for assistance and coordination of medical care. Dr. Bhatia and his staff a fluent in multiple languages.

For more information: Phone number (714) 456-7012

Contact Information
Irvine Spine Center
Nitin Bhatia, M.D.
(714) 456-7012

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