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Spinal Cord Injury

Michael Moody was stabbed in the back by his brother after being mistaken for an intruder. The blade penetrated bone, dangerously close to his spinal cord, and the outcome could have been disastrous.

“I thought it was the end,” Moody said. It is rare for a knife to penetrate bones in the spine and when removing it would be very risky. But a Penn Medicine team led by Dr. Neil Malhotra was able to save Moody’s life while also helping to maintain its quality.

The team used a special instrument called an ultrasonic bone cutter that allowed Dr. Malhotra to make laser light cuts around the base of the knife so he could remove it with the bone without damaging Moody’s spinal cord.

Within days of the surgery, Moody was up and walking.

“You get this opportunity to keep someone walking, that’s a great feeling,” Dr. Malhotra said.

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