WAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y. -- For one Dutchess County skateboarder, a joyride turned into a nightmare in the blink of an eye while skating home from visiting a friend's house. Taking a steep hill on his board, Charles unexpectedly veered right into oncoming traffic and collided with a car. Onlookers immediately called 911, and Charles was quickly transported to MidHudson Regional Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, for trauma treatment.
"My vertebrae had shifted sideways in my spine,” said Charles. Upon reviewing all of the cross-sectional images of Charles’ vertebral column on the computer screen — each .625 millimeters thick — radiologists immediately called Michael Cho, MD, a neurosurgeon at MidHudson Regional Hospital who specializes in spinal procedures. “They told me that based on the injury I had, Dr. Cho would be the best one to help,” said Charles. “I had serious spinal-cord damage and needed surgery before it got any worse.”
Cho recalled that Charles had a burst fracture at one vertebra. It had shattered upon impact, with shards and fragments sent flying into the surrounding tissue. The spine was also dislocated at that same vertebra and had shifted completely to the right, across the coronal (horizontal) plane of Charles’ body. “He had no sensation or movement in his legs and no bladder or bowel control,” said Cho.
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