Renee Junga update

Australian downhiller Renee Junga underwent surgery in Auckland City Hospital on Friday to stabilize spinal injuries after crashing in four-cross practice last Tuesday.

Junga broke the C1 and C2 bones in her neck, two ribs and her sternum and sustained spinal chord damage at the T6 vertabrae.

"The surgeons say they are happy with the way the (10 hour) operation went," said Junga's mother, Sallie Howie. "They put rods and screws in to straighten her back and fused the two broken neck bones.

"They've told us there is a one in 800 chance she may regain feeling below T6 but that is a chance and doctors really don't know why some people with spinal injuries regain feeling and others don't," said Mrs Howie. "There isn't really anything more they can do surgically."

Doctors say her ribs and sternum are healing well and they hope to have Junga sitting up by Tuesday. Barring any complications she is expected to be flown back to Australia by mid-September.

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