Dr. Payam Farjoodi: Ex-NFL player lucky to have identified C1 vertebra abnormality early on — 5 notes

Orthopedic Sports Medicine

Payam Farjoodi, MD, an orthopedic spine surgeon at the Center for Spine Health at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Calif., commented on linebacker Zachary Orr's retirement from the NFL due to a neck injury and spinal condition.

Five things to know:


1. Mr. Orr, a former member of the Baltimore Ravens, injured his neck in a week 16 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.


2. A CT scan found that Mr. Orr's C1 vertebra had never fully formed at the top of his spinal cord.


3. Dr. Farjoodi explained that this abnormality occurs in less than 4 percent of individuals.


4. Dr. Farjoodi went on to say: "Trauma to the head or neck, often seen in defensive football players, can lead to pinching of the spinal cord and paralysis in these cases of instability."


5. In regards to Mr. Orr's prospects, Dr. Farjoodi was optimistic: "He's lucky to have not had any lasting neurologic effects given his condition."


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