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2 Metal Rods Put in Back of Gloria Estefan

March 22, 1990|From United Press International

NEW YORK — Surgeons today implanted metal rods in pop singer Gloria Estefan's back, broken when a tractor-trailer rig plowed into her tour bus.

The operation on the lead singer of the Miami Sound Machine was expected to last three or four hours.

Before the operation began about 8:30 a.m., doctors at the Hospital for Joint Diseases in Manhattan said that the 32-year-old singer's chances of recovery are "excellent," and that the risk of paralysis is "exceedingly rare."

Surgeons explained that the surgery was designed to correct "subluxation," an instability of the spine between her middle and lower back that can include fractures.

Estefan, who was injured Tuesday when the tractor-trailer rig hit her tour bus on snowy Interstate 380 in the Pocono Mountains in Tobyhanna, Pa., was flown Wednesday by helicopter to New York from a hospital in Scranton, Pa., where she was taken after the crash.

Dr. Michael Neuwirth, the New York hospital's chief of spinal surgery, who will implant the two 8-inch rods at the junction between Estefan's middle and lower back, said Wednesday that her prognosis was "excellent."

"The risk of paralysis is exceedingly rare," Neuwirth said.

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