Vance faces lengthy rehab

Maija Vance
Maija Vance

Waikato jockey Maija Vance suffered damage to five vertebrae in her fall at Rotorua on Sunday.

Vance, 27, had a four-hour operation on Monday, to stabilise her spine, and is still in the intensive care unit at Middlemore Hospital, in Auckland.

“The surgeon said the operation went really well,” Vance’s father, former top jockey Bob Vance, said on Wednesday.

“They inserted pins and plates, to protect the spinal cord from any further damage. It’s what they call an incomplete injury but there was damage to five vertebrae and some swelling in the spinal cord.

“Her arms and hands are fine and she has had good movement, in her knee and ankle, in her right leg,” he said.

“I haven’t seen any movement in her left leg yet, but she has had some sensation there and it’s a bit too early to know [what the outcome will be]. Hopefully she will keep improving.

“She also has multiple broken ribs, at the back of her ribcage, so with that and the operation, she’s in a lot of pain. She will probably be in hospital for two weeks and then get transferred to the spinal unit for rehab. It’s going to be a long road.”

Vance’s mount, Zedsational, fell at the second-last fence in a maiden hurdle at Rotorua. She was taken to Rotorua Hospital before being airlifted to Middlemore on Sunday night.


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