This 36 year old male presented to Dr. Anand at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in April 2005 after being injured in a go-cart accident. He was diagnosed with a T11 traumatic flexion-distraction injury with complete disruption of his posterior ligaments and a piece of bone in his spinal canal. The goal of surgery was to decompress the spinal canal, reduce the dislocation, stabilize the fracture, and maintain function of his legs. This was carried out by decompressing the spinal cord at T11, carefully removing the large bony fragment of the fractured T11 facet impinging upon the spinal canal, reducing the dislocated T10-11 facet joint, and placing screws from T9 to L1 to stabilize the spine and maintain good spinal alignment. Christian began recovering right away. Read his detailed story below:
“In 2005, I had a serious go-cart accident while competitive go-cart racing in Lancaster, California resulting in a fracture dislocation of the spine that almost left me paralyzed. I walked over to a safe portion of the race track, but I was in a lot of pain and having a hard time standing up, so I drove to the hospital with my wife. At the hospital, I got into a wheel chair and sat in ER for four hours in excruciating pain. Eight hours later, after CAT scans and X-rays, they told me I had a broken back and put me on morphine. Then they brought in a surgeon who told me to go home and wait for three months, then maybe do a surgery. I said “Get me to Cedars-Sinai! Dr. Anand was very confident, knowledgeable, and handled everything quickly and professionally.
I had been laying on my back for two days in the Lancaster hospital when my parents called our family friend Stephen Spielberg, and asked him to get me into Cedars-Sinai. My dad is Drew Struzan, the "father of the movie poster," who did “Back to the Future” and all the “Star Wars” posters. They put me in an ambulance and we drove all night. At dawn, Dr. Anand walked in with an entourage of eight people holding clipboards. After more CAT scans and X-rays, Dr. Anand said we're going to operate tonight.
The surgery was supposed to last six hours, but they found a 2 cm bone fragment lodged in my spinal cord. The surgery ran an extra two or three hours to remove the fragment. They put in two rods on both sides of my spine and fused seven vertebrae. I woke up the next day and went for a walk. The pain was tremendous, but I began my recovery instantly. After six weeks, I was off painkillers and back to work. Dr. Anand put me back together so well that after two months I went to Ireland to work with U2. I still have a lot of pain to manage day to day, but I do Pilates, ride motorcycles and I’m pretty active for a 40 year old guy.”