Doctor: Spinal Injuries More Common Than People Think - NBC 6 South Florida

Doctor: Spinal Injuries More Common Than People Think



    Doctor: Spinal Injuries More Common Than People Think
    Dallas Cowboys scouting assistant Rich Behm is paralyzed from the waist down after Saturday's accident.

    Injuries such as the one suffered by a Cowboys scout happen more often than people may think, according to a doctor at the Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation in Dallas.

    Scouting assistant Rich Behm, 33, was permanently paralyzed when high winds ripped though the Cowboys' indoor practice facility on Thursday.

    Dr. Lance Bruce said he sees about 100 new traumatic spinal injury patients a year.

    "They occur in anything that puts enough stress on the bones to cause them to break or to be pushed out of position," Bruce said.

    He added that common causes of spinal injuries include car wrecks and severe falls.

    Behm is one of three Cowboys staff members who are still hospitalized. Team officials said he suffered a fracture to the 10th thoracic vertebrae, which severed his spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

    "If the cord was totally torn in two, then we normally do not anticipate that to show any recovery," Bruce said.  

    Bruce said treatment for spinal cord injuries often depends on which parts of the body are still working.

    "In this case, you would anticipate that the arms would work normally," Bruce said. "We teach this person how to dress themselves, move around, put their hands down at their sides, lift their rear-end up and scoot, and learn to live with their arms."