Esteban Chaves facing difficult recovery after nerve damage to arm
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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Esteban Chaves facing difficult recovery after nerve damage to arm

by Shane Stokes at 6:46 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
Surgeon states after operation that he could only recover seventy percent of movement to the affected limb

Johan Esteban ChavesHaving crashed three and a half months ago in the Trofeo Laigueglia, Colombian rider Johan Esteban Chaves is facing at least another three months off the bike due to damage incurred in his fall on February 16th.

The 2011 Tour de L’Avenir winner was operated on in Bogota on Friday, where doctors sought to repair two brachial nerves in his right arm. These were damaged in the accident.

Acccording to El Tiempo, the doctors Julio Sandoval and Gustavo Castro said that there were no complications during the seven hour operation. The rider must now rest completely for three weeks in order to allow the area to heal, and can then start physiotherapy.

Castro explained the nature of the problem. “The injury was to two nerves. We discovered one was broken above and below the scapula. We took two good nerves to replace the bad ones; one was removed from the right leg, but it is delicate. This proves that operating was for his benefit.”

When the 23 year old climber crashed his Team Colombia doctor Marco Pallini listed extensive damage: “Esteban suffered a compound fracture to his right collarbone, fractures in his left petrous bone, right cheekbone, maxillary sinuses and sphenoid bone, while also receiving pulmonary compressions, abrasions and suspected ribs infractions,” he said on February 17th.

At the time the team said he was in good spirits and looking forward to getting back. It said then that no surgery was necessary, and that the recovery period would take thirty to forty days.

Things have proven to be more complicated than that and while he could return to cycling in approximately three months if all goes well, El Tiempo reports that he could perhaps recover only seventy percent of movement in his right arm.

Castro said that he hoped this would be enough for Chaves to continue his sport. “The idea is to return to the functional position on the bike. It’s a difficult case, but we'll see how it progresses. It depends a lot on a good recovery.”

The rider was due to leave the hospital yesterday and will continue his recovery at home in Bogota.


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