Update on Dave Denniston’s Surgery

By Brent Rutemiller

PHOENIX, Arizona, March 8. FORMER USA National Swim Team member and NCAA Champion from Auburn University continues his recovery process from a tragic snow sledding accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down on February 6th, 2005.

"Spinal fluid flow has been restored quicker than expected. Other than that, it has been hell having to lay on my side and not sit up for 72 hours," said Dave Denniston from his hospital bed via cell phone. He is currently plagued by intense headaches that are temporary due to the loss of spinal fluid which over time will be replenished.

Scar tissue trapped the flow of spinal fluid which pooled in a cavity called the syrinx. By removing the scar tissue the flow was restored and any buildup of fluid in the syrnix will now drain naturally.

Dave says that he can feel more sensation in the hips and lower body which is the best case scenario. He will be in the hospital through the weekend.

Recent excerpt from DaveDenniston.com written by his mother:

About 1 PM (March 6), Dr. Batzdorf came back and told us things went well. Dave's incision was over his old scar. Bone was removed to expose the scar tissue and spinal cord. The scar tissue was removed, and the spinal cord was exposed. The dura and arachnoid were incised to help relieve the pressure from the spinal fluid that was flowing up the middle of the spinal cord causing the syrinx. The syrinx was clearly
seen, so some of the spinal fluid was siphoned off to start the
draining process. Ultra sound and dye were used to make sure the
spinal fluid was flowing the right direction. Then a patch was applied
to the spinal cord and he was buttoned up.

About 2 PM , Dr. Holly, Dave's main surgeon, came down and answered a
few more questions. No rods or screws were removed at this time. That
would've added more complication to the surgery. All docs are
cautiously optimistic that the surgery will do all it is expected to

Read More on Dave Denniston
Dave Denniston Paralyzed from Sledding Accident (February 7th 2005)

Dave Denniston Takes First Steps (November 17th 2005)

To Read Dave Daily Journal Click Here

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