No surgery required for Carlos Sainz’s Dakar injuries

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Credit: DPPI/Red Bull Content Pool

Despite breaking two of his vertebrae at the Dakar Rally in January, Carlos Sainz does not need to head to an operating room to get it treated. Instead, he revealed Thursday, he has been undergoing INDIBA radiofrequency therapy to help recover.

“A small message, thank you very much, thank you very much INDIBA, who has been there, who has been my companion these last weeks,” said Sainz. “Thanks to its work, well, I won’t have to go through the operating room. I am very happy because it will speed up, probably for the recovery, what positive news.”

Sainz’s 2023 Dakar Rally ended when he rolled early into Stage #9, resulting in fractures of the T5 and T6 vertebrae. He had hoped to rejoin the race and was permitted to fly back from the hospital to make repairs, but the damage to his Audi RS Q e-tron E2 was terminal and ended his race. Having reported torso pain following the crash, he noticed it did not subside during his trip back to Madrid, prompting him to undergo medical evaluations that revealed the extent of his injuries. On a plus side, Sainz noted the vertebrae were stable.

INDIBA is a regenerative physiotherapy that is used for various types of treatments including rehabilitating neck and spinal pain as well as fractures and muscle tears. A special device is used to expedite the body’s natural healing process by stimulating bone growth and tissue repair, which activates cells in the affected areas to begin recovering organically.

As Sainz continues to heal, he has not confirmed if he will be back in time for the next World Rally-Raid Championship leg, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge that begins on 25 February. Otherwise, his main priority will likely be the Extreme E season opener in Saudi Arabia on 11/12 March, giving him a month to complete his recovery.

Sainz, a four-time Dakar Rally champion, won Stage #1 of the 2023 edition. Despite a pair of podiums, mechanical troubles plagued him and Team Audi Sport; he and Stéphane Peterhansel both retired while Mattias Ekström was the lone Audi driver to reach the finish, albeit outside the top ten.

In focusing on Extreme E, Sainz will hope to build upon a strong 2022 campaign in which he and fellow Dakar competitor Laia Sanz finished third in the championship for ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team with a pair of runner-up finishes in Saudi Arabia and Chile.

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