Spinal Cord Injuries Often Life-Changing Events

Published: September 9, 2007  |  Source: wivb.com
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(Buffalo, NY) – – Spinal cord injuries are often life-changing events. Monday night Doctor Peter Ostrow has even more from a local neurosurgeon on what the future may hold for Kevin Everett.

Dr. Ryan Denhaese has seen many patients with injuries similar to Kevin Everett’s. Some of them were football players.

Dr. Ryan Denhaese, Brain and Spine Center, “They teach ball players to look up when they tackle, and they do that for a reason. And if you look down when you tackle, you can imagine that would be the kind of thing that would happen. Its a common injury.”

Using a model of the spine, you can see how the bending down separates the bones. That causes displacement of the bones and compression of the spine.

Dr. Ryan Denhaese, Brain and Spine Center, “The spine goes like an l in the canal 2507 and so to fix that, you have to realign the spine and fix it with hardware.”

Here’s an example from one of his patients who had an injury similar to Kevin Everett’s.

Dr. Ryan Denhaese, Brain and Spine Center, “These bones are lined up here, and these bones are lined up here , but here we seea fractrure of this vertebral body and this bone is pushed back.”

After surgery, the spine was realigned, and held in place with hardware, as you can see on the x-ray, but about six months later, the MRI scan still shows this black space in the spinal cord, where the damage was permanent. At this point, its still too early to predict what will happen to Kevin Everett.

Dr. Ryan Denhaese, Brain and Spine Center, “I think, you know, our goal is to prevent any other injury, so we do everything we can to keep the blood pressure up, we give steroids to decrease the inflammation and the swelling in the spinal cord, but once this is done, I think you have to take every day as a single day cause its difficult to know where he’ll end up. I don’t think anybody has that answer.”