A Daily Record article published January 5, 2014 details some positive news after an ice hockey player endured a life threatening spinal injury:
“Michael Nichols, a senior forward on the Monroe High School ice hockey team who suffered a serious neck injury in a game against Vernon on Saturday night, underwent surgery at Morristown Medical Center on Sunday to repair a fractured C5 vertebra.
According to Monroe head coach Jerry Minter, the surgery went well. He said Nichols is breathing on his own and is “in good spirits considering the situation.”
“There are positive signs,” Minter said. “It’s minute by minute.”
Nichols was injured following a head-on collision with the boards during the second period of a game contested at Skylands Ice World Arena in Sussex County. He was transported by helicopter to the hospital, where doctors identified a fracture to his C5 vertebra, according to Minter.”
The injury sustained by Nichols is an extremely serious matter, and similar injuries should immediately be consulted with expert Cleveland orthopedic surgeons in order to help the athlete or the patient get back to normal.
Spinal injuries are dangerous to sustain. The human spine can be categorized into different sections, and the area of Nichol’s spine that was damaged (the C5 vertebra) is a sensitive one, though it was fortunately handled by Nichols’ doctors. Any damage to the fifth cervical vertebra or on any vertebra above it will affect breathing; if left untreated, this can lead to death by asphyxiation.
There are several ways to treat a cervical fracture. Minor fractures can easily be handled by cervical collars or braces, while intense fractures, like the one Nichols endured, will have to be repaired via surgery, which can vary from traction to a spinal fusion.
Spine surgeries will take a long recovery period and a lot of physical rehabilitation to help the patient athlete live normally again. The patient can help speed up the process by doing small things like using ice and heat to ease the pain and comfortable sleeping positions, but exercises provided by Cleveland and Chattanooga spine experts will definitely help the athlete get his movement back.
Spinal injuries are serious matters, so it pays to know a reliable practice like the Center for Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics to know about proper spine care and emergency protocol should the undesirable happens.
(Article Excerpt and Image from Monroe ice hockey player recovering after spinal surgery, Daily Record, January 5, 2014)