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Tulane University’s Devon Walker fractured his spine while making a tackle during a college football game on Saturday. Walker collided head on with one of his teammates while trying to tackle a Tulsa ball carrier. He was left motionless on the field. Walker has a cervical spine fracture as well as an edema, which is swelling from a build-up of excess fluid in his neck.
After a three-hour surgery to stabilize his spine at St. Francis Hospital, Walker was in stable condition and recovering in an intensive-care unit, said Dr. Greg Stewart, Tulane’s director of sports medicine.
The Tulsa athletic department announced the surgery with the following statement, as reported by the New Orleans Times-Picayune:
“According to Tulane University’s team physician Dr. Greg Stewart, Devon Walker underwent surgery this afternoon. In a three hour surgery at St. Francis hospital in Tulsa, neurosurgeons stabilized his spine. He is now in recovery and we anticipate Devon will remain in ICU (intensive care) for the next few days. He is in stable condition and it will be several days before we can assess his condition post-surgery.”
Walker’s long-term risk of paralysis is “unknown,” Stewart said. “The reality is you don’t know for 24 to 48 hours,” Stewart told the Times-Picayune Saturday night.