What's Cool In Road Cycling

Successful surgery for Quintana

Colombian rider from Movistar Team to keep right arm in a sling for two weeks after operation on his scapula fracture following Vuelta crash.

After surgery on Nairo Quintana’s right shoulder blade following his injury during Wednesday’s stage eleven of the Vuelta a España, orthopaedic surgeon Jesús Alfaro from Pamplona’s Clínica San Miguel and Movistar Team doctor Alfredo Zúñiga talked to the media in a press conference at the Navarrese hospital, to confirm the recovery process the Colombian will have to follow, as well as the extent of his fracture. “Nairo’s injury is a drill-hole fracture of the coracoid process”, explained Alfaro. “This kind of fracture is really rare; they affect various sportsmen but are just 1% of all fractures in sport, 10% out of the scapula ones.”

“The coracoid process can be treated without any operation, but I decided to have him undergo surgery because, as shown on the scanner image, the fracture extends like the tail of a mouse to the scapula – we fixed it with two screws,” pointed out the doctor from the Clínica San Miguel. “He has many abrasions all over his body due to the crash, especially in the back side of his shoulder. When he first came here he was hurting in his hip and shoulder, but there were no other injuries on his bone tissue, and actually, he really improved from yesterday to today.”

“The normal process would be keeping his right arm in a sling for two to three weeks,” Alfaro underlined. “Then, he would be able to move it; after that, he could be getting on his bike fast, in two to four weeks, and after 6-8 weeks, he could start competing. All of that, with no complications in these 48 hours after surgery with infections or any acute pain. Nairo showed humble, calm and didn’t complain about anything; it was all easy with him, he’s a charming kid.”

Zúñiga emphasized the sporting setback his injury meant for the whole team during the press conference: “It’s a big blow for all of us. The team had planned this Vuelta thoroughly, excited about the challenge – we relied on him, we knew he was going to be up-front. It’s just bad luck, and something we unfortunately come across in cycling very often. The important thing is finding a quick solution to this, keeping Nairo calm and recovering him with help by the doctors. Fortunately, he focuses on every adversity he finds in life in an optimistis way; he was already smiling yesterday, feeling in pain but committed to recover well.” Alfaro confirmed “he should go back home tomorrow if everything goes right.”

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