Egan Bernal undergoes spinal surgery after bus collision

There's concern Bernal's condition might be worse than first thought.

by Matt de Neef

photography by Cor Vos

An update from the hospital treating Egan Bernal after his collision with a bus paints a concerning picture for the 25-year-old Colombian.

In a press release published on Monday evening, Juan Guillermo Ortiz Martinez, the director general of the Clínica Universidad de La Sabana, detailed the main injuries that Bernal was undergoing surgery for:

  • A femur fractured into multiple pieces.
  • An open fracture of his patella (kneecap).
  • A pneumothorax (collapsed lung).

But beyond those injuries, there’s particular concern about further surgery Bernal is currently having on his spinal column. The medical update suggests uncertainty about the nature of the injury and the outcome.

“We hope that the surgery of the thoracic spine that is being performed under intraoperative monitoring … can be carried out in the best way, hoping for the best outcome according to the intraoperative injuries.”

In a post on Twitter, Colombian freelance cycling journalist Eddy Jácome suggested that Bernal’s condition could be worse than first feared.

“After requesting an explanation of this technical language from a specialist in this field of medicine, I can understand that we no longer talk about cycling,” Jácome wrote. “Everything that happens today and in the next few hours will be ensuring Egan Bernal’s quality of life after this accident.”

Bernal, the winner of the 2019 Tour de France and the 2021 Giro d’Italia, was riding on his time trial bike with some teammates at an Ineos Grenadiers training camp near Bogota when he collided with a stationary bus.

Ineos is yet to provide any detail on Bernal’s condition, besides an initial statement confirming the incident.

“Bernal, who is at a team training camp near his hometown, was accompanied to hospital by team medical staff and was conscious upon arrival,” Ineos Grenadiers said. “He is stable and undergoing further assessment. The team will provide an update on Egan’s condition in due course.”

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