Spine Injury Keeping Tony Stewart Sidelined

Category: Spinal Cord Injury | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: March 16, 2016

tony stewart spine surgery

Three-time Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart is currently sidelined with a spine injury, and he recently stated that he has no qualms about riding off into the sunset when the 2016 season comes to a close.

“That’s what we said in the announcement last year that this year would be the last year,” Stewart said before this weekend’s race in Las Vegas. “I’m not going to change the plan because I got hurt.”

Burst Fracture

Stewart is currently recovering from a nasty spine injury he suffered during a dirt buggy accident. He suffered a fractured L1 vertebrae in his back, and Stewart said he’s going to go in for another round of X-rays sometime this week to see how his back is healing. And even though the injury is forcing Stewart to miss some of his favorite races at the beginning of the season, he’s absolutely sure 2016 will be his last season.

“No, not even one percent considering [coming back]” said Stewart.

He added that he’s anxious to see how his spine is healing because he is itching to get back out on the track and compete.

“Like I say, that’s kind of why we’re anxious to get these x-rays done, to kind of figure out where we’re at,” said Stewart. “We really don’t have any clue how far this has gone since the surgery. I’m probably more eager than anybody to know what the result is going to be.”

Stewart’s injury was quite severe, as it was classified as a burst fracture of the L1 spinal vertebrae. A burst fracture typically only occurs during a high-impact collision, so they are often seen in car crashes and falls from a significant height. The burst fracture occurs when the vertebrae cannot handle the load when the compression occurs and gets crushed, cause the bone to spread out. The L1 site is one of the more common areas for a burst fracture to occur because it’s a transition area because two different parts of the spine. Stewart underwent surgery in early February to address the fracture.

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