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The anatomy of Mike Baird's back break

AAP logoAAP 23/08/2016


*What's the injury?

The premier fractured a vertebrae in his lower back. Sports physician and Sydney Roosters chief medical officer Dr Ameer Ibrahim says the injury is called a transverse process fracture on the lumbar spine.

*How did it happen?

The premier says he slipped on the stairs in the middle of the night while wearing socks as he went to get a glass of water.

What fractured the vertebrae?

It's likely Mr Baird's back hit the edge of the stairs, fracturing a wing on the vertebrae. The injury is common among footballers who "cop a knee to the back" or people who fall hard on their backs, Dr Ibrahim says.

*How long will it take to recover?

The muscles surrounding the vertebrae will go into spasm to lock it down, causing a lot of pain for a couple of weeks. Sleeping can be difficult for a week or two and it's painful to sit down or stand for long periods, Dr Ibrahim says. There shouldn't be any long term damage.

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