No decision yet on surgery for Andrews’ fractured spine

Doctors are yet to decide whether Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews will need surgery on his fractured spine.

Mar 11, 2021, updated Mar 11, 2021
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. (Photo: AAP Image/Erik Anderson)

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. (Photo: AAP Image/Erik Anderson)

A spokeswoman for the premier late on Wednesday confirmed there was no “immediate” need for spinal surgery, despite scans confirming a fracture of the T7 vertebrae in the middle of his spine.

Associate Professor Steve McGloughlin, the head of the intensive care unit at The Alfred hospital where Andrews is currently a patient, said the premier was “comfortable and his pain is well-controlled”.

“A multidisciplinary team including intensive care, trauma and orthopaedic specialists has developed a treatment plan, together with the Andrews family,” Prof McGloughlin said late on Wednesday.

“Mr Andrews has sustained some serious injuries, and his condition is being monitored closely. At this stage there is no immediate plan for surgery.”

A government source, however, told AAP there remains a “50-50 chance” Andrews will require surgery.

The surgery would involve inserting screws or pins into his spine, which would be followed by a months-long recuperation period.

A decision will be made by doctors later in the week, the source added.

Andrews also broke several ribs after slipping on wet stairs at a Mornington Peninsula holiday rental while getting ready for work on Tuesday morning.

He was initially treated at Peninsula Private Hospital but transferred to Alfred Trauma Centre in Melbourne after specialists assessed an MRI scan.

He has been cleared of any internal or head injuries.

“Heartfelt thanks to the entire team at @AlfredHealth for taking such good care of me. We’re so very grateful,” Andrews tweeted on Wednesday.

Deputy Premier James Merlino will serve as acting premier in Andrews’ absence.

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