As a Catalog of Pain Shows, She Isn't Riding Just for Show

The New York Times—August 31, 2012

Georgina Bloomberg, 29, the younger daughter of New York’s mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, practiced in a white T-shirt and dark helmet, jumping her bay mare Radio City over imposing panels and open water in a grass field at her farm here.


After she broke her back twice in falls in 2002 and 2010, doctors told Bloomberg it was time for surgery, she said during an interview in her stable’s break room.

“When the doctors saw the X-rays, they said: ‘O.K., listen, your back fractures so easily because it’s so unstable. Every time you have a bad fall, this is going to keep happening,’ ” she said.

Bloomberg’s condition is a deformity of the spine called spondylolisthesis, similar to scoliosis. Her surgeon, Dr. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei of Hospital for Special Surgery, said only a small percentage of people with spondylolisthesis needed surgery.

“Most of her life, she managed to live with it,” Boachie-Adjei said from Ghana, where he was doing charity work.

Consultations with spine experts changed Bloomberg’s plans.


In July 2011, Boachie-Adjei slipped Bloomberg’s vertebrae back into place and spaced them out using bone grafts from her body and a bone bank, and rods and pins to hold it all together.

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