X16 BMX Big Air Bronze Medalist and Nitro Circus Live rider Andy Buckworth ruptured his spleen on Wednesday night in Greenville, N.C., but managed to avoid emergency surgery. Buckworth reportedly fell flat on his stomach out of a decade air at The BMX House (Dave Mirra's former private warehouse), causing his spleen to rupture.
The severity of the rupture, on a scale of 1-5, was between three and four. After a CT Scan and discussion with the trauma surgeon, Buckworth opted not to have surgery to remove his spleen. Andy has controlled but severe asthma that is made extremely out of control when he gets sick or has an infection, and the loss of his spleen would set him up for greater battles with his asthma and weaken his health.
Currently, the 21-year-old Mirraco rider is in Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville, N.C., where he will be monitored for internal bleeding and further damage to his spleen over the next five days. No new bleeding was detected during his first night in the hospital.
Located on the left side of the abdominal cavity, the spleen is an organ of the lymphatic system that is the primary filtering element for blood in the body. The organ also plays an important role in storing and releasing certain types of immune cells that mediate tissue inflammation. Typically, emergency surgery is performed on the patient to control the amount of blood that leaks into the abdominal cavity after a splenic rupture, but Buckworth was able to avoid surgery.
In the past, legendary BMX pros such as Mat Hoffman, Dave Mirra and Taj Mihelich have ruptured their spleens and underwent emergency surgery to remove the organ and control the bleeding.
Buckworth, the creator of the no-handed double frontflip and other yet-to-be-seen MegaRamp combinations, will spend the next 12-16 weeks in recovery, and will reportedly miss both Dew Tour and X Games 17. Following his third place finish at X Games 16, Buckworth is pre-qualified in BMX Big Air.
"This blows," said Andy via Facebook on Thursday.
Trish Bare Grounds, friend of Buckworth and owner of Bare Essentials Sports Medicine Co., contributed to this article.