Sport Cheltenham

Thursday 28 August 2014

Bryan Cooper suffered "the worst fracture I have ever seen"

Published 14/03/2014 | 13:30

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Jockey Bryan Cooper who broke his leg at Cheltenham yesterday. File picture
Jockey Bryan Cooper who broke his leg at Cheltenham on Tuesday. File picture

Bryan Cooper's leg-break was yesterday described as "the worst fracture I have ever seen in a lower limb" by Dr. Adrian McGoldrick, Chief Medical Officer of the Turf Club.

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The Kerry jockey, who's season ended with a wretched fall on Clarcam last Wednesday, has been transferred to Frenchay hospital in Bristol where he today (Friday) underwent secondary surgery on the fracture.

Cooper is expected to remain in England for the next 7-10 days as surgeons monitor the early stages of his recovery before releasing him to the likely care of Mr David Moore in Tallaght Hospital.

The 21-year-old Gigginstown Stud reserved rider faces a lengthy absence from the saddle, though McGoldrick did stress "He will be back racing,that's the bottom line."

Admitting that Cooper's injury required complex surgery, he explained: "It's what we call a compound fracture, a combination of it (the bone) coming through the skin, but there were multiple fragments too, which is the nature of a fall at that speed.

"It's very much like you see with motorcyclists who come off motorbikes at high speed, but he got fantastic care on track from the team of doctors here and in Gloucester Hospital where Mr Curran is the leading surgeon in that area.  Likewise he's gone down now under Mr Kelly at Frenchay overnight, so I'm very happy with the people taking care of him."

McGoldrick visited Cooper on Thursday night, revealing "They cleaned it and stabilised the leg.  They did an angiogram to test his circulation which was perfect and then he was transferred to Frenchay last evening for further surgery.

"He'll have an external fixator put on today and he'll have bone grafting done to stabilise his leg.  It will be very much the same type of procedure that Ruby Walsh had done in Belfast following his fall in Down Royal.  So he will be in Frenchay for about ten days and then we'll take him back home and I would expect that we will have him followed up by Mr David Moore in Tallaght Hospital who is the Irish expert in that area."

Asked how long he was likely to be out of the saddle, McGoldrick observed "It's much much too early to say.  It's a very nasty injury.

"We'll have some idea this evening after the secondary surgery but even then he'll obviously have to have x-rays over the next couple of months to see how the bone's heeling and then we'll have a better idea of how he is doing."

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