The details of Jason Behrendorff’s back surgery in October have been laid bare.
Behrendorff has opened up to the West Australian newspaper on his decision to have surgery, saying he first started thinking about taking that path as early as 18 months earlier.
Behrendorff spoke about the pain he had played through in previous seasons and his hopes for the future now that he has had the procedure. Read the full article here.
WACA head medical officer Dr Tom Hill also spoke about the process that led to the operation in New Zealand.
“The reality of the situation we were faced with was that we’d tried the conservative method for four years and it’d failed — and we certainly hadn’t rushed him back,” Dr Hill said.
“We’d been really thorough and we were really happy with each of his rebuilds to date but we hadn’t got the results we’d wanted. So if all the boxes are ticked, you need to look elsewhere and that’s why we went the surgical option.”
Surgeon Rowan Schouten inserted two screws into Behrendorff’s spine, using a piece of wire to tighten and close the fracture site.
“They pulled the muscles to the side and put two screws either side of the vertebrae into what we call the pedicle area, that’s where he’s been breaking,” Dr Hill explained.
“Then they use a bone graft from his hip to plug into the fracture site, to give it an extra stimulus of healing.
“The bone graft gets packed into the fracture site and there’s a wire that wraps around the back to tension the screws.”
For Behrendorff, who has been making steady progress in his rehab, the decision was about more than just cricket.
“That was a huge part of my decision to have surgery, that cricket’s only a short part of my life,” Behrendorff said.
“I’ve got a little boy, Harrison, and I want to be able to play sport with him or pick him up without feeling like I can’t do it.”