Penguins review Crosby medical tests: “No evidence of a past or present neck fracture”

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have announced that an independent review of Sidney Crosby’s medical tests found no evidence of a past or present neck fracture, essentially refuting claims Crosby had cracked his C1 and C2 vertebrae.

From the Penguins website:

An independent specialist contacted to review recent medical tests taken on Sidney Crosby found no evidence of a past or present neck fracture but verified that Crosby is suffering from a soft-tissue injury of the neck, that could be causing neurological symptoms.

Dr. Alexander Vaccaro is a spinal trauma expert at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and co-director of the Spinal Cord Center at Thomas Jefferson University. He is past president of the American Spinal Injury Association.

Crosby’s agent, Pat Brisson, along with Penguins owner Mario Lemieux and CEO David Morehouse traveled Monday morning to Philadelphia, where Vaccaro reviewed a CAT Scan and MRI taken last week by Dr. Robert S. Bray in Los Angeles. Bray diagnosed a neck injury.

Bray has treated Crosby with an injection to alleviate swelling in the C1-2 joint of the neck and will be overseeing his progression with therapists.

Doctors say the symptoms of a soft-tissue neck injury are similar to concussion symptoms.

Vaccaro, Bray and UPMC doctors all agree that Crosby is safe, the injury is treatable, and he will return to action when he is symptom-free.

Some questions that still need answering:

— Did Penguins team doctors still miss/misdiagnose the soft-tissue injury?

— What findings led to the fractured vertebrae diagnosis?

— What finding led to dismissing the fractured vertebrae diagnosis?

— Wait…was there even a fractured vertebrae diagnosis?

There’s also going to be plenty of questions asked of Bray, who declared Crosby’s neck injury “healed” — especially given today’s release, which says Crosby is still suffering from a neck injury.