Egan Bernal to undergo second spinal surgery

The Colombian rider remains in intensive care following his horrific crash last week, but doctors are positive about his recovery.

Photo: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

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Egan Bernal will undergo a second spinal surgery following his horrific training crash last week.

The Colombian rider fractured his T5 and T6 vertebrae when he collided with a stationary bus while out on a training ride on January 24. He also fractured his patella and femur, and suffered a punctured lung as a result of the crash.

Bernal, who remains in intensive care, underwent surgery on the thoracic section of his spine immediately after the crash — as well as on his leg. He has since had surgeries to treat injuries to his hand and face.

Following further examinations, the doctors treating him have decided that the 25-year-old needs a second surgery on his spine. This second surgery will be on the cervical section above the thoracic vertebrae, which were previously operated on.

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Despite the need for another surgical procedure, the doctors treating him at the Clínica Universidad de la Sabana remain positive about Bernal’s recovery process.

“After moving forward in the recovery of the areas involved in his polytrauma (musculoskeletal, respiratory, hemodynamic and neurological systems), new diagnostic images were performed and it was determined, in an interdisciplinary manner, that the patient will undergo surgery on the cervical spine. This intervention will favor the process of rehabilitating him. This intervention will take place tomorrow [Wednesday] afternoon,” hospital director Juan Guillermo Ortiz Martínez said.

“We move forward with the patient in all his recovery processes, confident in his prompt improvement. We will be reporting the post-operative evolution of the athlete at the time the procedure is finished.”

Bernal was taking part in an Ineos Grenadiers training camp in Colombia at the time of his accident. His teammate Brandon Rivera also suffered a training crash several days later, fracturing his elbow and dislocating his shoulder.

The 25-year-old Bernal collided with the back of a bus that had pulled over to let passengers disembark. He was taken to the Clínica Universidad de La Sabana, where he has remained since.

Late last week, Bernal posted his first public message since the crash, thanking fans for their support and spoke of the severity of the crash.

“After having had a 95 percent chance of becoming a paraplegic and nearly losing my life doing what I love to do most, today I want to thank God, the Clínica Universidad de La Sabana, all its specialists for doing the impossible, my family, [girlfriend], and all of you for your wishes,” Bernal wrote on social media. “I am still in [intensive care] waiting for more surgeries but trusting in God everything will turn out OK.”

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