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Conor Cummins’ x-rays. Warning: not for faint-hearted

By John Westlake -

General news

 17 August 2010 12:34

If there was any doubt about the severity of Conor Cummins’ injuries after his 150mph crash at the TT in June, these X-rays dispel it. The McAdoo Kawasaki rider sent them to MCN to show just how much work his medical teams have put in to give him a chance to ride again.  

Because of the severity of the damage to Conor’s back – he broke five vertebrae, and several were completely shattered – a series of rods were inserted to stabilise his spine. Without the metalwork there was a risk a vertebrae could move and sever the nearby spinal cord, resulting in paralysis. 

The back X-rays show two 10in rods running up either side of the spine, starting at the base just above his pelvis and going all the way to just below the level of his shoulder blades (ie his entire lumbar section). The main rods are interlinked with two horizontal rods around the worst of the fractures.

Conor said the 11 hour operation on his back was a success, and has stabilised his spine – it’s now a case of letting it mend. The rods will stay in there for two and half years, though Conor is aiming to be back on a bike in 2011.

Then there’s his left arm. The X-rays show this has been completely rebuilt with two plates and 16 screws holding the multiple fractures together. You can also see another simple fracture higher up the arm which the surgeons didn’t need to plate. The presence of screws near the elbow joint is the most serious element of this X-ray, as it implies the joint surface itself was fractured which could lead to movement problems later.

As if all that wasn’t enough, the poor bloke has also got a seriously damaged knee which has had to be completely fixated because of massive ligament damage.

In this week’s MCN...
There’s a full interview with Conor in this week’s MCN (out on August 18), where he speaks candidly about his situation. His resilience is truly inspiring, and everyone here at MCN wishes Conor the speediest of recoveries.