A skier from Sheffield who broke his neck on holiday is back on the slopes after making an ‘incredible’ recovery.
Anderson Taylor, aged 23, cracked two vertebrae and shattered the disc between them in an accident while skiing in the French Alps.
After an emergency operation, Anderson had to wear a neck brace for months and feared he would never be able to ski again.
But after an intensive course of physiotherapy he managed to regain the movement in his neck – and is now back to full fitness.
“I am back skiing now which is incredible, and something I never thought would happen,” said Anderson, from Nether Edge, who suffered the accident 18 months ago at a snow park in Les Deux Alpes, which has Europe’s largest skiable glacier.
“I was practising at a new snow park when, as I was doing a back flip, I rotated a bit too much and landed on my neck. It was excruciatingly painful and I thought that was it – I would never ski again.”
Anderson was rushed to hospital in Grenoble for surgery, which involved a rod being inserted into his neck to join his cracked vertebrae.
He needed to wear a full, immobilising neck brace for four months – while doctors warned he might not turn his neck to the left ever again.
As soon as the brace was removed, the skier went for physiotherapy with Michael Lee from the MiTo Therapy practice in Millhouses.
“The aim was to regain full movement in my neck and build up strength in the muscles around my neck,” said Anderson.
“It was done over several months of sessions. Michael helped me to turn my head to either side, helping the joints to rotate and move by pushing them with his thumbs, which was quite scary at first.
“It was accompanied by stretching and strengthening exercises to build up the muscles around my neck, which I also did at home several times a day.
“As part of the treatment plan, he performed acupuncture on the muscles around my neck to loosen them and also created a tailored programme of physical activity.”
Within two months, Anderson was able to move again and regained the strength in his neck.