View Full Version : Superbike racer has revolutionary operation

7th October 2004, 00:18
British Superbike racer Dennis Hobbs has undergone a form of surgery used on under 10 people worldwide in order to save his racing career and potentially prevent him being paralysed.

Following a 140mph crash during practice at the Croft round of the championship, Hobbs was initially thought to have no more than bruising and nerve damage. However, an MRI scan revealed one broken vertebra and another dislocated.

Hobbs underwent the revolutionary seven-hour operation, which involved surgeons opening the front and back of his neck, and replacing one of the damaged vertebrae with a metal joint. In total, Hobbs was fitted with eight screws, two bolts and two bars put in to repair his broken neck.

"It was a bit unnerving to discover I was only the ninth person in the world ever to have this operation," said Hobbs, "and only the third in the UK. "But luckily my consultant, Mr Towns, is one of the best in the world.

Hobbs hopes to be able to get back on a bike in January.