University of Virginia Medical Center - (Dr. John A. Jane)
Date: Monday, June 5, 1995
Dr. John A. Jane excerpts from press briefing at 4:00pm EST about Christopher Reeve's surgery at University of Virginia Medical Center.
"Everything went well. I am confident he will be stable."
Reeve is awake but still sleepy. "He is a wonderful patient."
The fusion of the 1st and 2nd vertebrae to base of skull was successful.
Doctors used 11 soft (titanium) wires for fusion; also used bone from his hip to create the fusion.
They found no bone in the spinal canal.
Surgery began about 8:30 a.m. and was completed about 3 p.m.; it took "a long time" because it was "an exacting procedure."
Surgery will not affect the speed of recovery or his breathing, but will keep bony parts in alignment to prevent further damage. He is still on a ventilator.
No change in level of sensation in upper body.
He will be in a collar, but they will start sitting him up little by little beginning today because Reeve "is so eager to be mobilized."
He should have some movement in his neck from side to side and vertically; it will be restricted to some degree.
Post-op recovery will take between 10 days to 2 weeks.
Could be weeks or months before they know how much movement will be regained
Reeve received steroids within the first 24 hours, but nothing else.
Pneumonia is under control.
Family members have seen him and are coping fine.
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