MIAMI (CBS4) – A champion gymnast who injured his spine during practice is not only back on his feet, but actually walked out of Jackson Memorial Hospital on his own Thursday.

CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald is reporting that state champion gymnast Jorge Valdez, 20, was practicing for tryouts for a Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil production when he flipped, slipped and landed on his head causing spinal cord injury.

He suffered bilateral dislocation of two vertebrae which lead to near-complete motor and sensory failure, according to the Herald, but because of his treatment will not need rehabilitation.

The unusual results are a result of a new treatment procedure called hypothermic treatment that uses cold to treat severe trauma. The cold, the Herald said quoting Neurosurgeon Steven Vanni of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, reduces swelling and inflammation.

“He was the perfect storm for this type of injury to happen here,” Vanni told the Herald.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report)


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