Three days after U2 revealed that lead singer Bono injured his arm in a “cycling spill” requiring surgery, the grim details of the singer’s accident and prognosis have been disclosed to Rolling Stone.
While riding his bike through New York’s Central Park on Sunday, the singer attempted to avoid another rider and was involved in what doctors have called a “high energy bicycle accident.” Bono was rushed to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center’s Emergency Department and underwent “multiple X-rays and CAT scans” followed by five hours of surgery.
The singer suffered numerous serious injuries, including a “facial fracture involving the orbit of his eye,” three separate fractures of his left shoulder blade and a fracture of his left humerus bone in his upper arm. The latter injury was particularly damaging, with the bone shattering in six different places and tearing through his skin.
According to orthopedic trauma surgeon Dean Lorich, MD, “[Bono] was taken emergently to the operating room…where the elbow was washed out and debrided, a nerve trapped in the break was moved and the bone was repaired with three metal plates and 18 screws.” On Monday, Bono underwent a second surgery to repair a fractured left pinky finger.
While it’s still unclear how long the singer will be recuperating, Lorich tells Rolling Stone that Bono will “require intensive and progressive therapy,” but “a full recovery is expected.”
It remains unknown if Bono’s injury will affect the band’s upcoming tour, details of which have yet to be revealed. When guitarist the Edge spoke to Rolling Stone in September, he outlined the group’s plan for heading back on the road. “The tour is still in the planning stage so it’s too early to describe what it will be like,” said the guitarist. “I think we will start small. We certainly can’t get any bigger than the last tour.”
The injury forced the group to postpone a planned weeklong residency on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon this week. “It looks like we will have to do our Tonight Show residency another time — we’re one man down,” the band wrote on their website the day of the crash. “Bono has injured his arm in a cycling spill in Central Park and requires some surgery to repair it. We’re sure he’ll make a full recovery soon, so we’ll be back! Much thanks to Jimmy Fallon and everyone at the show for their understanding.”
After working on Innocence for two years, the group surprised fans in September by releasing Songs of Innocence for free to anyone with an iTunes account. “We wanted to make a very personal album,” Bono told Rolling Stone. “Let’s try to figure out why we wanted to be in a band, the relationships around the band, our friendships, our lovers, our family. The whole album is first journeys — first journeys geographically, spiritually, sexually. And that’s hard. But we went there.”
Full Statement From Dean Lorich, MD on Bono’s Condition:
On November 16th, Bono was involved in a high energy bicycle accident when he attempted to avoid another rider. Presented as a Trauma Alert to New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell’s Emergency Department, his Trauma Work-up at that time included multiple X-rays and CAT scans showed injuries that include:
1. Left facial fracture involving the orbit of his eye.
2. Left scapula (shoulder blade) fracture in three separate pieces.
3. Left compound distal humerus fracture where the bone of his humerus was driven though his skin and the bone was in six different pieces. He was taken emergently to the operating room for a five-hour surgery Sunday evening where the elbow was washed out and debrided, a nerve trapped in the break was moved and the bone was repaired with three metal plates and 18 screws.
4. One day later, he had surgery to his left hand to repair a fracture of his 5th metacarpal.
He will require intensive and progressive therapy, however a full recovery is expected.
Dean Lorich, MD
Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon
New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Hospital For Special Surgery